|Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology|
|PotWeb:|| Ceramics online
@ the Ashmolean Museum
People and their collections
Robert Plot 1640-96 - scientist & antiquary
|The Natural History of Oxford-shire (1677)|
|Dr. Plot's first great
published work was inspired by Pliny the Elder (AD23-79) and Francis
Bacon (1561-1626). For Plot's predecessors of the Renaissance, ancient
ruins and antiquities had formed the core of their studies, with
incidental reference to landscapes, roads and industries. In The Natural History of
(sub-titled 'being an essay toward the Natural History of England') the
emphasis was reversed. It aimed to describe 'all curiosities of both
art and nature'; antiquities were of marginal interest.
History of Oxford-shire was divided into ten chapters:
Dr Plot was the first person in the modern world to describe a dinosaur bone, although he thought it was a giant human or elephant (Plot 1677 p142). The term 'dinosaur' ('terrible lizard') was not used until 1841. The bone he described was that of a Megalosaur.
The Natural History of Stafford-shire was published in May 1677 and was well-received. In December 1677 Plot was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. The membership payments were waived because he had promised to donate to the Society the natural curiosities discovered during his survey of England.
First modern description of
a dinosaur bone - drawing
|His published work||Robert Plot: case study||The Natural History Of Stafford-shire (1686)|
| © Copyright
University of Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 2005
The Ashmolean Museum retains the copyright of all materials
used here and in its Museum Web pages.
last updated: jcm/16-dec-2005