Museo di Anatomia Umana (Museum of Human Anatomy) “Filippo Civinini”
The Museum of Human Anatomy “Filippo Civinini” was inaugurated on November 15, 1832. There are 3400 medical findings organized into various sections, a considerable amount of archaeological material, a rich historical library and a splendid collection of Paolo Mascagni’s Anatomical Tables.
Pisa was one of the first University Cities to have an Anatomical School: the teaching of Human Anatomy began at the behest of Cosimo I de’ Medici who built an Anatomical Theatre in Via della Sapienza. Just in that period, thanks to Andrea Vesalio (1514-1564) the dissection of human corpses ceased to be a clandestine practice to become an instrument of investigation, encouraged and regulated by special rules. These were the basis for the birth of the Museum of Human Anatomy in Pisa established by Tommaso Biancini, dissector and professor of Anatomy, which opened it under the name of Anatomical Cabinet.
Since 1834 Filippo Civinini continued the work of arrangement and cataloging, and in 1841 the preparations preserved were already 1327 and were used by teachers for lessons and exercises of Human Anatomy. The legacies of private individuals were later very important, in particular the collections of the surgeon Giorgio Regnoli (1797-1857) and his son Carlo (1838-1873), who was also a doctor.
To date, the Museum includes not only descriptive and topographical anatomy preparations, but also archaeological collections (pre-Columbian and Egyptian mummies and funerary outfits). In particular, the anatomical part of the Museum includes different sections (osteology, angiology, splanchnology), as well as anatomical models made of different materials (plaster, wax, papier-mâché, plastic). As for the archaeological part, the Museum preserves precious finds such as: mummies and pre-Columbian funerary objects (vases, fabrics, tools) belonging to the pre-Columbian Chimù and Chancay cultures (12th-16th century) collected by Carlo Regnoli in the second half of the 19th century; the Egyptian mummy with sarcophagus coming from expeditions in the first decades of the 19th century. The Museum includes a valuable series of anatomical colour plates depicting the internal organs and the front and rear elevation of the human body in full size made by Paolo Mascagni (1832).
The Museum occupied the ground floor of the anatomical section of the Medical-Surgical School until the end of the 1960s. Then, for teaching purposes, it was moved to the second floor of the same building, where it is currently located.