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Homo Faber
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Original artefact
  3.4 Case with medical instruments



Bronze; case: 18.1 x Ø 2 cm
Naples, MAN; inv. 116444 a-g
Pompeii, R.IX,3,5
First century AD

The theca vulnaria, that is, the cylindrical case, today missing its cover, contained some instruments then in frequent use: two ligulae, or ear probes, which were characterised by one pointed end and the other in the form of a spatula; some hamuli, small rods ending in hooks designed for various uses; and a spathomele, a thin rod ending in a wide flat part in the form of a leaf. Containers of this sort, sometimes found within larger boxes also holding medicines, are found at Pompeii, as well as other sites in the Roman world.

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