A copper plate on the upper arm in a burial at the Church in Vrasene (Belgium)

Paul A. Janssens


Discussion about the use of three copper plates, found around humeri in graves from different periods: a first one dated from Norman to 13th century probably has been used as an ornament to hide a dressing with ivy leaves. The second plate (1260-1527?) was fixed around a humerus showing hypertrophied lips of a notch, caused by a cutting weapon. In the third case (1579-1650) there was any sign of a bone lesion. The author discusses the possibilities of a relationship with the De Re Medica of Celsus, found back in Milan and published in 1478. This work recommends copper as a disinfecting element and by this stetement becomes a terminus post quem.

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