History of Anatomy – Biology History4U

History of Anatomy
History of Anatomy
In this article, we discuss the History of Anatomy. Anatomy is one of the oldest branches of medicine. It is a branch of science that deals with the study of human or animal form, by observing or examining living beings, dissecting dead specimens, and examining them microscopically. The term anatomy comes from the Greek word anatome which means “dissection”, and logos which stands for “study of”, hence the “study of dissection”.

There are two major subdivisions of anatomy: Gross and Microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy focuses on the study of body surfaces, regions, and sections of body organs and their relationship to one another. On the other hand, microscopic anatomy deals with minute entities like cells and tissues. Under this field include cytology, which is the study of cells, and histology which is the study of tissues.

Anatomy History – A Timeline

As Early As Stone Age

History of Anatomy

  • Early evidences of the study of anatomy date back as early as the Stone Age. Cave paintings were made (about 30,000 years ago) depicting simple knowledge of the anatomy of animals. It is assumed that these cave dwellers utilized some of their anatomical understanding their own bodies.


[1] – Persaud, T.V.N. 2016. In the Beginning: Human Anatomy Accessed July 2016
[2] – Sidhu, Rajinder. 2012. The Study of Human Anatomy. Accessed July 20, 2016.
[3] – Carola, Robert. 1992. A Short History of Human Anatomy.
[4] – David, K. and Osborn, L. 2015. Hippocrates: Father of Medicine. Accessed July 20, 2016.
[5] – n.a 2014. “Galen.” Famous Scientists. famousscientists.org. 22 Dec. 2014.
[6] – n.a.2016. HistoryofAnatomy 2016. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=aa05
[7] – n.a. 2007. “History of anatomy and physiology: The Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment.” World of Anatomy and Physiology, June 15.
[8] – Johnson, D. (2016). Introductory Anatomy. Accessed July 20, 2016.
[9] – Robert Hooke – 1635-1703 – Hooke’s Microscope
[10] – Cynthia Klestinec – Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied SciencesVolume 59, Number 3, July 2004, pp. 375-412
[11] – Noel Si-Yang Bay and Boon-Huat Bay – 2010 Greek anatomist herophilus: the father of anatomy Accessed in July 2016.

[12] History of Anatomy Link.

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Ramzan Asghar

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