The earliest known prosthesis, a toe from ancient Egypt. Dating back to the period 950 to 710 B.C.E, this wooden toe once belonged to an Egyptian noblewoman and would have assisted in walking, as well as contributing aesthetically.
The dramatic find just over a week ago of burnt human bone has turned out to be even more dramatic than first thought! Two bones were involved in the drama, one part of a jawbone (mandible) and the other the top part of a shinbone (tibia). They were found in Boudiccan debris at our excavation site at the Williams & Griffin store in the High Street at Colchester. The debris is from the massive fire which Boudicca and her army started to burn down the Roman town here, as part of their attempt to drive the Roman army out of Britain. Although large areas of Boudiccan debris under Colchester have been investigated in the past, this was only the second time human remains had been found in it. The first time was sixty years ago.
When eventually we were able to lift the bones out of the ground and have a close look at them, we had to rub our eyes in disbelief. The front part of the shinbone appears to have been chopped off and even part of the jawbone looks as if it has been sliced off too. Reading archaeological bone in this way can be tricky so the bones will need to be examined by a specialist in ancient human bone. Nevertheless, the evidence looks pretty clear, even to us.
Left femur of a confederate soldier, white male, exhibiting attempts at repair of a gunshot fracture of the upper third. Private E.W. A, Company G, 5th Regiment, Florida. Physician unknown. Civil War, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Pathological specimen 1938.
by Sébastien Villote, Sofija Stefanović and Christopher J. Knüsel
"External auditory exostosis (EAE) appears to be a faithful marker of water-related activities. The frequency of this condition has been calculated for 449 European Mesolithic and Neolithic individuals from several geographic regions. The condition is more frequent in females but not significantly so. Neolithic skeletons display significantly less EAE than Mesolithic ones. The very high frequency of EAE in Late Mesolithic samples is consistent with fishing subsistence activities, and the significant decrease in frequency in Neolithic populations provides further evidence (along with isotopic and other archaeological evidence) for a rapid abandonment of marine/freshwater resources after the transition" (read more/open access).