Ancient Egyptians pioneered prosthetic technology. Their rudimentary, prosthetic limbs were made of fiber and it was believed that they were worn more for a sense of “wholeness” rather than function. However, this view has changed after scientists discovered what is said to be the world's first prosthetic toe from an Egyptian mummy which appears to have been functional.
Sean Coughlan's article in the BBC News education correspondent 2 October 2012 States :
The false toe thought to be the oldest discovered prosthetic device passed a test to see whether it could have been used as an aid for walking.
Researchers at the University of copied wooden toes found with Egyptian mummies, buried about 3,000 years ago. A volunteer with missing toes tested the artificial toes wearing the same sandals the ancient Egyptians would have worn with the aid of a pressure measurement system. The test proved they were indeed practical walking devises rather than cosmetic.
Dr Jacky Finch said: "The pressure data tells us that it would have been very difficult for an ancient Egyptian missing a big toe to walk normally wearing traditional sandals.
"They could of course have remained bare foot or perhaps have worn some sort of sock or boot over the false toe, but our research suggests that wearing these false toes made walking in a sandal more comfortable."