--> Skip to main content

Hindu Religion Sculpture – Earliest Anatomical Model - Surgery 2nd Century AD

Terracotta sculpture of male human stomach in Allahabad Museum, Prayagraj, gives an indication that ancient Hindus had the knowledge of surgery. It could also be anatomical model of stomach for medical students. The sculpture was recovered from Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh and belongs to 2nd Century AD.

You can take view of the picture and other details at the national museum portal.

The style of the sculpture is Kaushana.

This is accepted as the earliest depiction of surgery in Indian art. Human stomach has been carved in terracotta with the exposure of intestine inside an appetite. It is an internal organ in which the major part of the digestion of food occurs, being a pear- shaped enlargement of the alimentary canal linking the esophagus to the small intestine.

It is possible that this model owes its origin to Chyavana School.

The area of Kaushambi was then ruled by a king who was a direct descendant of the Pandavas.

The sculpture might have been part of teaching material. Teachers might have introduced stomach to medical students using this anatomical model.

What We Can Be Proud Of Ancient Hindus

  • Ancient Hindus had knowledge of surgery.
  • They had performed surgery and autopsy.
  • Study of medicine was in a highly advanced state as anatomical models were used.
  • They might have had knowledge of anesthesia.
  • They had knowledge of internal organs and how to carefully handle various procedures.
  • Knowledge of various surgical equipments and how to make them.