STORY: This iron hand prosthesis could be around 500 years old
Archaeologists in southern Germany have uncovered a medieval skeleton
complete with a metal prosthetic hand to replace four missing fingers
(Amira Adaileh, Archeologist)
"The special thing is that we don't find prosthetic hands very often, especially not ones that are around 500 years old. In Central Europe, only around 50 arm or hand prostheses from this time period are currently known. And these prostheses allow us very, very exciting insights into questions of medical history."
Radiocarbon dating reveals the skeleton belonged to a man aged 30-50
who died some time between 1450 and 1620
(Mathias Pfeil, Bavarian State Office for Monument Protection)
"Prostheses were a luxury item back then. Usually most people who lost limbs during wars simply no longer had them. And here was someone who got a replacement. Of course, it's never fully functional, but they tried to make life easier for this person, and it has to be said, with very high-quality methods for the time."