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Intellectual History Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2017

Gettysburg College

Apothocaries

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Full-Text Articles in Intellectual History

Fossils: Digging Into The Past, Sidney N. Caccioppoli Oct 2017

Fossils: Digging Into The Past, Sidney N. Caccioppoli

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Fossils collected in Renaissance collection cabinets were items of wonder and curiosity. Although sometimes mistaken for other pieces of naturalia, they were widely collected by owners of princely cabinets and scholarly collections.Though naturalists and collectors often kept fossils in their collections, they did not have the same understanding as we do today of what they are. Due to their belief in mythological monsters and naturalia with magical properties, there were often misinterpretations or mislabeled objects to something they were not. According to Kenseth’s “A World of Wonders in One Closet Shut,” some collectors believed that fossilized shark’s ...