A scientist at the University of Manchester, U.K., fitted replicas of ancient wood-and-leather devices to volunteers missing their right toes and found that the Egyptian prostheses made walking easier. "Now that we have the gait analysis data and volunteer feedback alongside the obvious signs of wear we can provide a more convincing argument that the original artifacts had some intended prosthetic function," said Dr. Jacky Finch, who conducted the tests. The study, which was published in the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, suggests the Egyptians were the first to create artificial body parts.

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