The muscles of the athletes to learn surface anatomy - The Influence of classical statues on anatomy teaching

Veronica Papa, Francesco Maria Galassi, Eugenio Polito, Giovanni Capelli, Angelo Rodio, Mauro Vaccarezza, Domenico Tafuri, Elena Varotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Gross anatomy classes are still regarded as an integral part of human biomedical education worldwide. The first documentary evidence of the practice of anatomical dissection for teaching purposes dates back to the 13th century AD, although this practice seems to have originated in Ancient Greece, if not in earlier times. Dissection of the human body is practiced in most anatomy institutions worldwide despite increasing pressure to reduce material and staff costs, regardless the ongoing debate concerning the suitability of body donors for medical education. Moreover, anatomical teaching skills are also evolving and need to be tailored for the different areas of anatomical expertise students have to acquire: therefore, anatomic dissection goes probably beyond the scope of anatomy teaching in some classes such as sports sciences. However, there is no doubt that a practical approach to the study and teaching of anatomy is surely preferable to basic ex cathedra anatomy lectures. Here, we propose a new teaching method for sports sciences and fine arts students by training their surface anatomy skills through the study of ancient statues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-175
Number of pages12
JournalItalian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2019


  • Anatomy teaching
  • Dissection
  • Human anatomy education
  • Muscular hypermorphism
  • Surface anatomy


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