Uterus and embryo, 16th century

Uterus and embryo, 16th century

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Credit: MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Uterus and embryo. 16th-century artwork of a human embryo in the uterus (womb). The labels are in Latin, showing the placenta (A), the umbilical cord (B), and a 12-day-old embryo (C). The term used in these labels is foetus, but the term embryo is now used until around eight weeks of development in the uterus. This woodcut is from 'Opusculum physiologum et anatomicum' (1597) by the French physician and surgeon Severin Pineau (died 1619). Pineau specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology, writing books on these subjects that included more open discussion of the mechanics of human reproduction than was usual at the time.

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