Domus del Chirurgo (Surgeon’s House) – Rimini

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In the city of Ariminum the Romans were passing their time in daily hassles, that had their particularities of the ancient lifestyle. We can learn about them from the excavations and monuments remained in modern Rimini. One of the most significant archeological structures found there is Domus del Chirurgo.

It is literally Surgeon’s House, located in the center of Rimini. However, it is not exactly the truth. In the beginning of III century C.E., when the domus was operative and the surgeon was on duty, it was on the outskirts of the city. Moreover, it was on the seaside, even if now it is difficult to imagine. During the centuries, the coast line has conquered more than 100 kilometers of the sea. In this house, the ancient surgeon was seeing his patients. Due to the numerous tools found in the excavations of the ancient building it seems he would have had much request. This discovery has opened new field of scientific studies for archeologists and ancient Rome experts. Roman medicine is still new and uncovered topic.

Inside the Domus more than 150 surgeon and therapeutic instruments were found; till now it is the most  massive collection of Roman medical instruments. We can easily recognize some of the found tools, because they remained the same during the time till now. The purpose of others is unclear, and we can just try to suppose or to guess it.

By the way, all these findings permit us to understand better the organization of the medicine in the Roman epoch. Doctor’s practice was wide from every-day dental surgery to difficult amputations. According to the specialists, however, his specialization was military injuries, which obviously were very common in that time. Some mortars and bronze vessels presented in the house let us think that the owner was preparing pharmaceutical drugs as well for the patients.

The luck to fine all these scientific treasures was possible thanks to the fire that took place in the middle of the III century C.E. Strange as it may seem, that fire destroyed the house but at the same time conserved it for us and for history. Ruins covered medical artefacts by the ash and burnt parts preserving them. The building is almost lost, only mosaic floors and fondations survived till present day.

Now it is possible to visit the excavations of Surgeon’s House in Ferrari square, and all the archeological findings are exhibited in the nearest City Museum.

[by Valeria Zadumina]

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