Photo by @robertclarkphoto | The concept of the heart as the center of love and emotions has a long history. Besides the idea of a broken heart or a heart that swells with love or gratitude the heart has meant different this to different groups of people.
In the West, the heart has evolved as a symbol of love, in both romantic and religious spheres. In the East, it is seen as a symbol of wisdom and spirituality.
The iconic heart symbol was identified in the culture of the Cro Magnon hunters of Europe before the last Ice Age (10,000-8000 BCE). The inference of the icon to the hunters remains a mystery.
The ancient Egyptians (3500 BC-1000 BC) believed the heart controlled the mind and soul, and that it was the center of morality. It was also considered the source of memory, emotions, and personality. They believed that God spoke to individuals through the heart. There was concern among Egyptians that after death, that the heart might testify against the deceased; to prevent this, the ancient Egyptians often wrapped a heart scarab within the bandages to prevent the heart from speaking.
The 5000 year old ancient Chinese culture believes that the heart is the root of the body, mind and soul of life. Additionally it controls joy, reflects facial expression, and has important roles in the psyche.
The Jewish culture goes back 5000 years as well. The Old testament, originated around 1500 BC, and references to the heart abound . It is viewed as the organ of conscience, the origin of human action, imagination, determination, emotion, love, virtue and vice, good and evil, humility and pride. The heart is revealed as the "inner" person.
I photographed this heart at the @MutterMuseum in #Philadelphia for a story about the human heart and the modern effort to heal it. This heart is from the 1800's and has all the fat stripped away from it for that we can see the muscular organ. #heart