When were the first prosthetic limbs used?

Some of the earliest accounts of prosthetic limb use were recorded in Greek and Roman times.

For example, there is the historical account of Roman general Marcus Sergius, who lost his right hand during battle in the second Punic War. He had a replacement hand made out of iron so he could hold his shield and return to battle.

In 2000, researchers in Cairo, Egypt, unearthed what may be the oldest documented artificial body part - a prosthetic toe made of leather and wood.

The device was found attached to the almost 3,000-year-old mummified remains of an Egyptian noblewoman. It illustrates how little prosthetic limbs have changed over time.

Until very recently, prosthetic devices have been made from basic materials, such as metal and wood and were held to the body with leather attachments.

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