Amputation of human limbs exists since the advent of medical procedures that date back to thousands of years back. Archeologists have unearthed ample reminiscent as solid proof of existence of prosthesis in ancient world. These prosthesis were found to be incredibly well designed and functional. Some of them even had fingers with which the user could hold a delicate object like quill as well as heavy one like a sword. From teeth to toe, there are plenty of such discoveries that verify invention of artificial limbs in old ages. Following of the five prosthetics, unearthed from different parts of the world, are considered to be the oldest and sophisticated:
Roman Prosthetic Leg
A prosthetic leg discovered in an ancient tomb in Capua, Rome is dated back to 300 BC. Made of bronze, it was unearthed in 1910 and was believed to be the oldest specimen of existence of prosthetics in ancient ages. The leg was made to replace the lower part of the leg below knee. The leg was kept at the Royal College of Surgeons but was destroyed during World War II.
Archaeologists were aware of existence of dental prosthesis in ancient world but they had only read about it until the 400-years-old dentures consisting of three central incisor and two lateral canines kept in place via a golden band. The teeth were fixed to the gold band via gold pins. The set was made from real human teeth and were found in Tuscany’s San Francesco monastery. The archaeologist couldn’t match it with any mandibles, so far.
At the battle of Waterloo, the Lord of Uxbridge, Sir Henry Paget, lost his leg in a cannon blast in which he lost leg above knee. His severed leg was stored at Waterloo. However, it was replaced by the patented “Anglesy Leg” that was designed by James Potts. It was constructed of carved fruitwood and was controlled by a delicate system of kangaroo tendon strips.
Gotz of the Iron Hand
About 500 years ago, born in Wurttemberg, Gotz was a knight of the Holy Roman Emperor. His terror was widespread for about 40 years as he mostly robbed merchants and nobleman. He had lost one of his arm in a cannon blast and commissioned an artificial iron limb. The prosthesis was strong enough to hold a sword along with more delicate objects like quill with his iron fingers. It is believed to be a advance prosthesis considering the era in which it was constructed.
Archaeologists unearthed a big artificial toe on a female mummy near Luxor that they claimed to be the olded prosthesis dating back to period between 950-710 BC. It was called the “Cairo toe”. The toe was made from leather, molded and stained wood. The observations showed that these prosthesis were widely used in ancient Egypt.