The world’s first prosthetic may have been a big toe that helped its wearer walk around ancient Egypt, according to a study.
“The earliest practitioner (although unwittingly) of this branch of medical science may have indeed been a craftsman living in the Nile Valley between 950 and 710 BC,” says Jacqueline Finch, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester in the UK and lead author of the studies paper.
Finch and her team studied two artificial toes discovered in the necropolis of Thebes, the first in the late 19th century and the second in 2000. She tested replicas of the toes on volunteers to determine whether they served a functional or merely aesthetic purpose, publishing her results in the October issue of the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics.
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