quarta-feira, junho 01, 2011

Plants, ancient and contemporary, are the source of medicines...

On my last trip in the UK, besides an excellent Coptic seminar at DACE, in Glasgow University, which will help me with a piece from the National Archaeology Museum in Lisboa, I visited mostly gardens and museums with plants.

My first visit was The Kew Gardens, but, I know it must seem childish, I never imagined it was so BIG, before I went there in person...so...no time for a full visit.

After that, I went to The Chelsea Physic Gardens, also in London, for a very enriching tour with an expert about the History of Medicine in Plants.

The next day, I visited The Old Operating Theatre which has, besides the actual oldest operating theatre, used mainly for pepople with no financial means, the Herb Garret, a complete shop of an herbalist, with dried plants and the tools for the manufacture of medicines.

After lunch with a friend from the British Museum, which is also showing a natural sample of Australian Flora, I visited Florence Nightingale's Museum, in Westminster, and saw all the travel boxes and equipments she took with her to the Crimean War, and confirmed she also travelled to Egypt with a friend who drew some nice watercolors.

The same evening, I went to one of the best lectures I have been to lately, about New Light in Ancient Medicine, at the British Academy, all the specialists there, from Islamic Texts to Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, ...

New Oxyrrynchus Papyri are on their way to be published and new work on Galen by Prof. Vivian Nutton also a work-in-progress almost reaching its end.

The last day in London, which was the International Museum's Day, I was fortunate to have the oportunity to visit Sir John Soane's Museum/House, and found that a publication by Dr. John Taylor about the Seti's sarcophagus is on its way to be published soon...!

After lunch with a dear friend and colleague we went to a very interesting lecture at the Warburg Institute and then I had plans to visit the EES to check for new books concerning my research topics, and had no time to go and visit Charles Dickens' House.

The next day I had time to visit the Wellcome Collection and check the exquisite exhibition 'Dirt' about our miseries and the philth we accumulate in cities everyday. Genius!

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