Surgery is a dangerous practice, requiring detailed knowledge of human anatomy. The best tool for learning has always been a real body. But finding enough ‘subjects’ for dissection has never been easy. In the early 19th century, a huge demand for fresh bodies fuelled the gruesome practice of body snatching.
Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men explores the murky world of the resurrection men and the ambitious surgeon-anatomist they supplied with fresh corpses.
At the heart of the exhibition is an excavation undertaken in 2006 by Museum of London Archaeology which uncovered a forgotten burial ground, in use between 1825¬ and 1841, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. What they found was both extraordinary and unexpected.