Aerden (aerden) wrote,

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Body Worlds at the Museum

Medicine: Mark and I and our housemate Tom went to the science museum to see the Body Worlds 3 and Royal Tombs of Ur exhibits today. Both were great exhibits.

The Body Worlds exhibit is fascinating. It's mainly about anatomy, using bodies and organs which have been donated to the project. The organs and cadavers have each undergone a process called plastination, developed by Dr. Gunter von Hagens, to preserve the tissues. The most fantastic parts of the exhibit were whole human figures. There's a rearing horse with two riders, a woman bent over backward on a balance beam, three men playing poker at a table, a man answering a cell phone, all sorts of things. Each organ display comes with an audio lecture and printed information about the displayed organ, its function, and its pathology. I saw a spine showing the effects of scoliosis, an enlarged liver with metastases, the brain of an Alzheimer's patient, cross sections of numerous organs, the layout in three dimensions of blood vessels in the cranium. It was just incredible! I'm very glad we got to see that.

The artifacts from the royal tombs of Ur were predominantly from the tomb of a queen named Puabi. Apparently, the royalty of Ur ascribed to the custom of having their personal servants buried with them. When Puabi's tomb was excavated, they found the remains of 73 retainers there with her. There were even musicians, some of whose instruments were preserved, using the same technique that preservationists use to restore shipwrecks which have been raised from the ocean floor--they are injected with wax and plastics to preserve the shape of the ship.

This exhibit consisted of grave goods--jars, bowls, drinking glasses, and a lot of elaborate jewelry, including a gorgeous golden headdress made to look like leaves and flowers.

In all, it was a very satisfying museum trip. :)

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