I came across a really neat article about fake toes in the ancient world, “Ancient Egyptian Fake Toes Earliest Prosthetics”. Two fake toes were confirmed as being the world’s oldest prosthetics from Ancient Egypt. These two wooden toes were found at the necropolis of Thebes. These artificial toes were made of a paper mache like mixture using linen, glue, and plaster called cartonnage. The Greville Chester toe, currently housed in the British Museum, dates back to 600 BC. It is in the shape of a right big toe and part of the right foot. The Tabaketonmut toe is kept at the Egyptian Museum in Ciaro and dates back to somewhere between 950-710 BC. This toe was also a right toe. It was thought that this girl lost her toe to gangrene caused by diabetes. Both toes had holes in them so they could be laced up round the foot or a sandal. Because both toes had significant wear to them, it is believed that they were used in everyday walking unlike other cases of artificial body parts that were made for burial.
I found this article really interesting because I never really thought about how ancient Egyptians would have dealt with a missing body part. These ancient false toes are evidence of medical advancements I was unaware existed in the ancient world. Earlier in the semester I posted an article about ancient fillings, proving that Egyptians of the ancient world were pretty skilled in fixing health problems. These articles have shed some light on the subject. Medical practices of the Egyptians is a topic that seems to spark my interest more and more as time goes on. I’m very impressed by the creativity the ancient people had when dealing with medical issues, especially given the period of time they lived in and the limited resources they had. I hope to learn more about ancient medicine and find out what other neat tricks they had for coping with health problems.