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October 2 2012

Egyptian Toes Likely to be the World’s Oldest Prosthetics


The results of scientific tests using replicas of two ancient Egyptian artificial toes, including one that was found on the foot of a mummy, suggest that they’re likely to be the world’s first prosthetic body parts.

The University of Manchester researcher Dr Jacky Finch wanted to find out if a three part wood and leather toe dating from between 950 to 710 BC found on a female mummy buried near Luxor in Egypt, and the Greville Chester artificial toe from before 600 BC and made of cartonnage (a sort of papier maché mixture made using linen, glue and plaster), could be used as practical tools to help their owners to walk. Both display significant signs of wear and their design features also suggest they may have been more than cosmetic additions.

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