Comparative Guts

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Anatomy of the gut, anterior view

20th century reproduction of 17th century CE painting. Held in Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buryatia, Russia.

This painting displays an enumeration of body part components (e.g., bones, vertebrae, joints, etc.) and diagrams the proper associated relational measures in anterior view using a quadrant grid. The abdominal quadrant covers 12×8 cubits in which the stomach (pho ba) is illustrated as an upright square standing on its lower corner. The number “1” signifies its primary place among the six vessel organs. A flexed white crescent cups the bottom corner of the square. Left of the stomach, the gallbladder is depicted as a tear-dropped shape with a background mass labeled as the liver. On the right, a bulbous oblong shape is noted as the spleen. Below, a band with stylistic swirls depicts the coiling small intestine (rgyu ma) with left and right lateral regions depicting the “blood colon” (khrag long) and “microorganism colon” (srin long) as ascending and descending colon, respectively. — Tawni Tidwell