Terracotta wombs in the Casa Buonarotti (photo: Helen King).

When is a womb not a womb?

Helen King is Professor Emerita in Classical Studies at the Open University. She has a particular interest in midwifery and gynaecology and has published widely on ancient medicine and its reception, as well as gender and the history of the body. Is it time to revisit the identification of votive body parts? Specifically, votive wombs;…

Figure 1: Anatomical votive reliefs from Corinth (Image courtesy of HolyLandPhotos.org).

Things that matter(-ed): A biography of anatomical votive reliefs

  Anne-Lieke Brem, is currently a Masters student at the University of Groningen, studying both Archaeology and Cultural Geography. Her recent research focuses on the social landscape of illness and disease in ancient Greece (500-200 BC). In this article for The Votives Project she reflects on how this project has prompted her to think more critically about the biography and…

boe-cropped

New book on ancient anatomical votives!

Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future is a new edited volume just published by Routledge as part of a new series on ‘Medicine and the Body in Antiquity’. The volume, edited by Jane Draycott (University of Glasgow) and Emma-Jayne Graham (The Open University / The Votives Project), is based on a…

Letters to Juliet

35 Millimeters of Love and Faith

Alyssa Velazquez is currently a Masters student at Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture. Her publications include “Tupperware: An Open Container During A Decade of Containment” in Women’s History Magazine and Men and Manolos: Love and Relationships in the Heels of a Hopeless Romantic. In this article for The Votives Project,…

Votive female viscera (Science Museum, London, Wellcome Images).

Votive visions of the body

At the risk of over-sharing, I’ve had a few health issues over the last year (I’m fine!) that have made me think in new ways about how we understand what ancient anatomical votives might tell us about how people understood their bodies and their relationship with divine healers. In the ancient world it seems to…

Tabitha Moses installation view

The Go Between, by Tabitha Moses

Often, on holiday, I seek out the sacred wells, the ribbon-tied trees and the chapels full of objects and notes asking for help or giving thanks. Out of curiosity, plain nosiness; I’m drawn to the glimpse into another’s life, or death. Why is that? Do I find comfort that someone else has it worse than…