I totally cracked up. Ok, show of hands, who else just thought of the hilarious 80’s song, “Walk Like an Egyptian“?
A few explanatory excerpts from the article:
Two false mummy toes from Egypt may have actually strutted their stuff as functional big-toe prostheses for their owners, researchers have found.
The two toes — the Greville Chester housed in the British Museum and the Cairo toe at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo — date back to before 600 B.C., which the researchers say is much earlier than what had been considered the earliest known practical prosthesis (called the Roman Capua leg dating to around 300 B.C.).
“We may just have the evidence to suggest that nascent prosthetic science was beginning to emerge in the Nile valley many hundreds of years earlier than in ancient Capua [where the Roman prosthesis was found],” the researchers wrote in the Feb. 12 issue of the journal The Lancet. “Perhaps now attribution for the first glimmers of this branch of medicine should be firmly laid at the feet of the ancient Egyptians.”
A few notes:
1. The “Greville Chester” fake toe sounds like something Edward Gorey would come up with.
2. Did you catch that awful pun in the last sentence?
To test out replicas of the artificial toes to see if they were the real deal, the researchers recruited two volunteers who had each lost their right big toe.
The toes had to meet certain criteria to be classified as true prosthetic devices, the researchers said. The material had to be able to withstand someone’s weight without cracking, and must look sufficiently lifelike. “The stump must also be kept clean, so it must be easy to take on and off. But most importantly, it must assist walking,” the researchers wrote. [Well, duh!]
The participants wore the toes with replica Egyptian sandals. While the team didn’t expect either toe – the Cairo or Greville Chester – to function exactly like the real thing, one volunteer walked extremely well with both toes, they found. Both volunteers said the Cairo toe was particularly comfortable.
If any of your children say that science isn’t fun, just read this article to them. Who knows? They might grow up to be fake toe testers for eminent scientists.
*Yes, absent for all of 24 hours. See comment #15 under previous post.