Comparative Guts

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The 3D Model of the Digestive System according to Aristotle

Copyright: ATLOMY (ERC StG GA 852550) Hebrew University of Jerusalem

This 3-D model of the stomach and the intestines presents ATLOMY’s interpretation of the ancient text. While it might not be evident at first sight, this model differs from contemporary models of the human digestive system. For example, humans do not have an inflated sac at the beginning of the large intestine (bottom left in the model). We attribute such differences to Aristotle’s reliance on animal dissections to reconstruct human anatomy, specifically on pigs and dogs in the case of these organs. In order to make this visual reconstruction of Aristotle’s ideas intelligible and a valuable research resource, it cannot stand alone. It must be accessible on an interface providing interactive viewing and research tools.