Fake Toes Found In Ancient Egyptian Tombs Could Be The World's Oldest Prostheses

The (Possible) Oldest Prosthesis Known to Man

University of Manchester

There is a documented history of ancient Egyptians creating fake body parts to augment bodies headed for burial, but a new study suggests that two artificial toes recovered from tombs there may in fact be the oldest known prosthetic body parts.

Researchers at the University of Manchester made replicas of the two items--both right big toes--and had volunteers missing those toes to wear them. The fake toes showed to be not only comfortable to wear, but to also vastly improve their walking while wearing traditional Egyptian sandals, suggesting these toes had more than an aesthetic, funerary purpose.