The Plague Doctor Will See You Now…
This intriguing exhibition explores the practices of those who were involved in providing care and remedies of various kinds in the Viking period and the years that followed. Physicians, barber surgeons, apothecaries and midwives, as well as churchmen and women would have used different methods to try and cure people of their ills; methods which are sometimes gruesome but always fascinating.
Artefacts and human remains from the period shown in the exhibition reveal details about sanitation and health. The Viking city of Jorvik had cess pits for toilets, and the exhibition uncovers details about human waste found by archaeologists, revealing that whipworm and roundworm were common inhabitants of human stomachs at the time.
In a specially designed children’s area visitors can discover that pagan Vikings called on the gods Odin and Thor in times of illness. Thor’s hammer pendants have been found across the Viking world, and may once have been valued for their magical, protective properties.
In the medieval period the church took over as the main provider of care for the sick but charms, such as the bill of a white duck, were still offered to cure ailments. Games, activities and themed hands-on areas as well as specially designed Horrible Histories content created by children’s author Terry Deary, all add to the fun and interactivity.
“We have always found it a pleasure to work with the JORVIK Group and have thought their medieval themed exhibitions to be of a consistently high quality.”
Hall Manager & Audience Development Officer – The York Company of Merchant Adventurers