Hugh Collins - Two artificial big toes from ancient Egypt may be the world's oldest prosthetic body parts, according to new research.
The toes date back more than 2,000 years and were found in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, according to research published in the journal Lancet.
One of the toes, which is mostly made out of wood, was found attached to the foot of a mummy called Tabaketenmut, who lived at some point between 950 and 710 B.C.
The other is made out of linen, glue and plaster, formed into a kind of papier-mache.
A study by Jacqueline Finch, a researcher with the University of Manchester in England, shows these false toes were intended to help the wearer walk and were not simply decorations.
"My findings strongly suggest that both of these designs were capable of functioning as replacements for the lost toe and so could indeed be classed as prosthetic devices," Finch said, according to a release from the university.
"If that is the case then it would appear that the first glimmers of this branch of medicine should be firmly laid at the feet of the ancient Egyptians," Finch wrote. ...
via False Toe Helped Mummy Walk Like an Egyptian.