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Ancient Egyptian Fake Toes May Be Earliest Prosthetics

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posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 07:54 AM
Greetings ATS!

I love stories about civilizations long past, they remind me of our shared humanity. So when I found this story, I just had to share. The ingenuity of our distant ancestors never fails to astonish me. Source

Two ancient Egyptian wooden toes have been confirmed as the world's oldest prosthetics, according to scientific tests.

Discovered in the necropolis of Thebe near present-day Luxor, the two artificial toes -- the so-called Greville Chester toe housed in the British Museum and the Tabaketenmut toe at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo -- have been called by several experts the earliest prosthetic devices in existence.

Exquisitely crafted from cartonnage (a sort of papier maché mixture made using linen, glue and plaster) the Greville Chester toe dates from before 600 BC and comes in the shape of the right big toe and a portion of the right foot.

The other false toe, a three-part wood and leather artifact dating from between 950 to 710 B.C., was found attached to the right toe of a mummy identified as Tabaketenmut. She was a priest's daughter who might have lost her toe following gangrene triggered by diabetes.

Both fake toes show significant signs of wear. Moreover, they feature holes for lacings to either attach the toes onto the foot or fasten it onto a sock or sandal.

"There are many instances of the ancient Egyptians creating false body parts for burial, but the wear, plus their design, both suggest they were used by people to help them to walk," Finch said.

I'm on my phone and can't link the pictures, but visit the article bc the pics are incredible.

posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 09:50 AM
Here you go

Edit to comment: This is an awesome find. I am just amazed at the ingenuity of our people long since past. It seems that every day that goes by we find just how advanced they were compared to previous conceptions we once held about their culture and practices.
edit on 6-10-2012 by Agarta because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 01:58 PM
reply to post by smyleegrl
Those Egyptians would try anything they could dream up. I posted a couple of threads about their medical and prosthetic adventures a while might enjoy the details...

Iran's Burnt City and the First Artificial Eye


Also Egyptian Surgery. Wow!

Over all these thousands of years we keep facing the same types of physical trauma and people have dealt with them in the best ways available for their times. Some 4000 years ago, the Egyptians realised they could improve their success rate by not only praying and begging the gods, but by treating physical injuries with practical solutions too. Wooden toes and fake eyes were the best way forward and arguably represent the same type of human mind that, in our age, invented defibrillators and organ transplants.

posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 02:24 PM
Thanks Kandinsky for those 'reruns' I missed them when they first came up
edit on 6/10/12 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2012 @ 10:24 PM

i believe it was for burial....that theory sounds right!


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