Archaeological news about the Archaeology of Early Medieval Europe from the Archaeology in Europe web site

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Unique medieval foot prosthesis found in Austria

A medieval skeleton found with the remains of a wooden prosthetic foot in Hemmaberg, southern Austria, is a unique find and the oldest example of prosthesis use in Europe, researchers have said.

The remains of the middle-aged man were found in a cemetery which belonged to an early medieval church. His left foot had been amputated above the ankle, perhaps after an accident, but against the odds he managed to survive the operation.
He is believed to have died in the mid to late-6th century AD. Archaeologist Franz Glaser said that it is likely he lived for around two years after being fitted with the prosthetic. This would mean the prosthetic is around 1,500 years old, making it the oldest artificial limb found in Europe (older specimens have been found in China and Egypt).
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