false toes, dating back to ancient Egypt- the world's earliest-known prosthetic devices.

  Two false toes, dating back to ancient Egypt, are believed to be the world's earliest-known prosthetic devices. Both are big toes from the right foot, and both were found near present-day Luxor. One toe, found in the 19th century, is thought to have been made in about 600 BC. It is crafted from one piece of cartonnage - a linen and animal glue version of papier-mache. The other toe dates back to between 950 and 710 BC. It was found attached to the foot of a mummy in a tomb just over ten years ago. This toe is comprised of three pieces, two are wood, the other possibly leather. It had been suggested that because ancient Egyptians believed the body should be prepared for the afterlife in a complete state, the toes were purely decorative. But new research by Dr. Jacky Finch at the KHN Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at the University of Manchester, England, proves otherwise. The toes were recreated to fit amputee volunteers and tested for flex, pressure, gait and comfort. Both performed remarkably well as functioning prosthetic toes so artificial big toes were likely used by their owners for walking, and not simply placed on their dead bodies for religious or ritualistic reasons .