Archaeologists have discovered the skeleton of a man who used a knife instead of a prosthetic arm
Who among us does not remember the formidable captain Hook, the inveterate enemy of Peter Pan? Literature and cinema is replete with characters whose distinctive detail was the presence of such an unusual prosthesis. But more recently, Italian archaeologists discovered an amazing find. They found the skeleton of a man who, apparently, used a knife to replace an amputated hand.
It is difficult to believe in the authenticity of such a find: an analysis of the bones of the skeleton suggested that this person lived in the 6th – 8th centuries. There is no need to speak about any professional medicine or even about the observance of basic sanitary standards during this period. How a man managed to survive with such a prosthesis is not clear. But the evidence that he used it for a long time is enough.
Archaeologists came across an unusual discovery during excavations in Lombardy. They found a lot of bones, which indicated that horses and hunting dogs were buried at this place, as well as the skeleton of a man who was supposedly 40-50 years old at the time of his death.
The researchers found that the man’s right arm was amputated at the level of the forearm, and for a long time he used cold weapons as a prosthesis. Because of the unnatural posture, the bones of the forearm were deformed, and the ulna was also damaged, because the implantation was probably long and painful.
The reason why a man lost his arm cannot be established for certain. It could be a turning point as a result of the fall, and a fight with the enemy.
Scientists have paid attention to the fact that men’s teeth are stowed, presumably because of the prosthesis. Perhaps, he simply picked a knife in his teeth, inflicting constantly small wounds (blood poisoning could be one of the reasons for his premature death), or he held the straps on his prosthesis with his teeth.
In addition to the skeleton of this man, archaeologists have found the skeletons of other warriors. The weapons were buried next to all the departed, the knives were located on both sides of the fighters. And only in one skeleton the knife lay across the body, clearly indicating that it served as a prosthesis. According to scientists, a precedent indicates that medieval Lombardy highly valued human life, and members of the community were ready to provide the necessary support to those who needed it.
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