Ancient Egyptian Artificial Toes Could Be World’s Earliest ProsthesesBy Coxworth, Ben; Gizmag,
Publication Date: February 14, 2011
Article reports on the scientific testing of two ancient Egyptian artificial toes to determine their possible function as walking prostheses. One toe, housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, is composed of 3 joined parts made from wood and leather; the other, known as the Greville Chester toe and residing in the British Museum, is made of a linen, glue, and plaster substance called cartonnage. The toes, which date from before 600 B.C.E., were tested at the University of Manchester in England using the following criteria: (1) consisting of material that withstands bodily forces; (2) possessing lifelike proportions and appearance; (3) easy to don and doff; and (4) able to assist walking, given that the big toe is estimated to support about 40 percent of the body weight during ambulation. Gait analysis technology incorporating cameras and pressure devices placed along a walkway was utilized while volunteer big toe amputees wearing the toes along with replica ancient Egyptian sandals walked its length. According to scientists conducting the tests, findings strongly suggested that both designs were capable of functioning as replacements for the amputated toe, with the Cairo toe, featuring an integrated hinge, being said by participants to be particularly comfortable.
Published by: Gizmag Pty Ltd (Website:http://www.gizmag.com/)
Link to text: http://www.gizmag.com/ancient-egyptian-artificial-toes-could-be-worlds-earliest-prostheses/17878