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Representing the heart

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©2024 Kapow Primary

Interactive presentation

How do these link with the heart?

©2024 Kapow Primary

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William Harvey. Mezzotint. Wellcome Collection.

  • The first known use of a heart shape to symbolise love was in a French text from the 13th century.

  • It became a popular symbol of love in Europe in the 16th century.

  • It is not an accurate representation of a real heart's shape.

  • The Egyptians would remove a dead person's organs as part of the mummification process, storing them in canopic jars.

  • However, the heart was left inside the body as the Egyptians believed it was responsible for thinking.

  • A vampire is a mythical creature that feeds off the blood of the living.

  • It is said to be killed by putting a stake through the heart.

  • This is a pump that pushes air into objects such as bicycle wheels.

  • Our heart is a pump, except it pushes blood throughout the body.

  • Think how tiring it is to use a pump and how much energy goes into our continuously beating heart!

  • A stethoscope is a piece of equipment used by medical staff to listen to the inside of the body, including the heart beating.

  • Early stethoscopes from the start of the 19th century were simple, wooden tubes that amplified the sounds into one ear

  • Many songs refer to the heart, often with themes of love and relationships.

  • Can you think of a song lyric about the heart?

  • In the 4th century, the Greek philosopher Aristotle identified the heart as the most important part of the body.

  • He said it was the 'seat of intelligence, motion and sensation' and 'a hot, dry organ', believing it to be part of our emotions and thinking.

  • William Harvey was an English doctor in the early 17th century.

  • His greatest achievement was recognising that blood flows around the human body using a system of arteries and veins, evidenced by experiments.

William Harvey. Mezzotint. Wellcome Collection.