Science Steps In To Discover Wonders Of Toe-tankhamun

Science Daily — An artificial big toe attached to the foot of an ancient Egyptian mummy could prove to be the world's earliest functional prosthetic body part, say scientists.

Research at The University of Manchester is hoping to prove that the wood and leather artefact in the Cairo Museum not only looked the part but also helped its owner walk 'like an Egyptian'.

If true, the toe will predate what is currently considered to be the earliest known practical prosthesis - an artificial leg from 300BC - by several hundred years.

Jacky Finch, who is carrying out the study at Manchester's KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, is recruiting volunteers whose right big toe has been lost in order to test an exact replica of the artificial toe.

A model of a second false Egyptian big toe on display in the British Museum, albeit without its mummy, will also be tested at the Human Performance Laboratory at nearby University of Salford.
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