Mummy's False Toes Helped Ancient People Walk Like an Egyptian

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Two false mummy toes from Egypt may have actually strutted their stuff as functional big-toe prostheses for their owners, researchers have found.

The two toes — the Greville Chester housed in the British Museum and the Cairo toe at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo — date back to before 600 B.C., which the researchers say is much earlier than what had been considered the earliest known practical prosthesis (called the Roman Capua leg dating to around 300 B.C.).

"We may just have the evidence to suggest that nascent prosthetic science was beginning to emerge in the Nile valley many hundreds of years earlier than in ancient Capua [where the Roman prosthesis was found]," the researchers wrote in the Feb. 12 issue of the journal The Lancet. "Perhaps now attribution for the first glimmers of this branch of medicine should be firmly laid at the feet of the ancient Egyptians."...

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