In believed to be, a noble woman.

In modern
society prosthetic limbs are a natural occurrence that no one questions. The
reason for this is due to the way they have been designed and manufactured.
Furthermore, the use of plastic materials that can be moulded perfectly to their
user’s body has helped, resulting in comfort and ease of use. However
prosthetic limbs have been used throughout time and have evolved in their
design and manufacturing into the prosthetic limbs we know and see today.
Therefore, to have full understanding of prosthetics we need to know what they
were like in ancient times and how they have advanced.The earliest
record that could be found of a prosthetic limb being used was in ancient
Egypt. This prosthetic limb was not what most people would think it to be as it
wasn’t an eye or even more commonly a leg or an arm. The prosthetic that was
discovered was a big toe that belonged to, what archaeologists believed to be,
a noble woman. As a result, in modern day we understand that the big toe is
important as it helps us keep our balance, however it is extremely interesting
that the earliest
example of prosthetics that has been discovered is a big toe and not something
that would seem to be more important like an arm or a leg for instants. However,
this may have come down to the fact that the Egyptians medical science was not
strong enough resulting in death for most illnesses and especially in most
cases of amputation. According to researchers “The
wood and leather prosthesis dates from 1069 to 664 B.C., based on artifacts it
was found with in the mummy’s burial chamber. This means it predates what was
previously thought of as the earliest known functioning prosthesis, the Roman
Capua Leg, a bronze artifact dating from about 300 B.C.” (Charles Q. C,
Live Science Contributor, 2007). As a result, this shows that even before we
had technological advancements we still were able to find a way to design the
required prosthetic with the tools and the materials that they had.  In addition to this the big toe was even more
important during the Egyptian period than it is now, the reason for this was
because ‘These two sandals differ from the
other categories in that they are clearly swayed, that is the shape indicates
for which foot the sandal is meant, and have a strongly pointed big toe area.’
(Veldmeijer, A.J. 2009, 87). Using this text as well as figure 2 this shows that for the
sandal to work the big toe was required as a result of this it may have been
one of the major reasons that this ancient woman acquired her wooden prosthetic
toe, so she could continue her day to day life as normally as possible.Moving
forward to 200s BCE Rome and to the man named General Marcus Sergius who due to
battle lost his right hand. ‘Roman general Marcus Sergius lost his right hand
in battle in the 200s BCE.’ (Marquardt, 2016, 14). Due to his skill and his
persistence he was then made an iron hand that was able to hold his shield, due
to the bent fingers that they had made for the hand. ‘This hand was made of
iron. The fingers were curled so he could hold a shield.'(Marquardt, 2016,
14-15). Due to the advancement in prosthetics general Marcus Sergius was able
to continue the fight just like he wanted to. The reason for this advancement
was because the strongest thing in a roman unit was there shield wall as a
result unless you could hold a sword and a shield then the wall would be
pointless. As a result that would have been one of the reasons why the hand was
made of iron and not wood, so it could withstand greater impacts whilst in
battle. In addition to this the hand will have lasted a lot longer than if it
would have been made from would due to the major fact that wood may be strong
but it dues rot and it can be cut. As a result of this not only did the hand
help general Marcus physically it also helped him mentally as he was able to
keep battling with the people he would have called brothers and not felt as
though he had left them to die in battle without him.The next
major jump in prosthetic development was in the 1500s. The reason for this was
because not only did the renaissance mean that we had better metal working
skills, but we also had better engineering, as can be seen in the prosthetics.
‘During the Renaissance, prosthetics underwent a rebirth with the use of iron,
steel, copper and wood.’ (Amputee Coalition of America,2007, cited in Abu-Faraj,
Ziad O, 2012, 138). As a result of being able to use better quality materials
instead of wood and leather prosthetics became more evolved and as a result
they evolved from being just form too being more functioned based. The reason
that theses were more function based were because they had the ability to
contain moving components, the main prosthetic was the appearance of prosthetic
hands that were made from iron. However, unlike previously theses newly
engineered prosthetics could move, they did this by designing the prosthetic so
that had a series of releases and spring as that when they are relaxed the hand
can move.’ (Amputee Coalition of America,2007, cited in Abu-Faraj, Ziad O, 2012,
138). The reason that the 1500’s was such an important time in prosthetic
history was because they were no longer just being designed to resemble the
prosthetic and help the user feel more normal they were actually now being
designed to serve a functional task depending on the prosthetic limb.Now moving
to America 1861
during the American civil war where a man named James Edward Hanger would
revolutionise the prosthetic in America that would continue and is still
operating in the present. Hanger decided to start a prosthetics business after
he was unhappy with his own prosthetic leg and resulted in building his own
which he named Hanger Limb ‘Hanger began to fashion a homemade prosthetic made
out of barrel staves and rubber tendons. 
His design, aptly named the “Hanger Limb,” was drastically different
than the traditional “legs” of the era’ (Dr. Feeney W,
R.2017). Due to Hanger America resulted in developing a new prosthetic leg that
would still be used as inspiration in today’s world. As a result due to his
innervations his company was able to keep up with the evolutionary modernizing
world that was the early twentieth-century. In addition to this Industrialization
of the world as well as all of the wars resulted in Hanger prosthetics growth
of the prosthetics industry into what it is today. ‘Hanger’s innovations kept
pace with the modernizing world of the early twentieth-century.
Industrialization and war virtually ensured the growth of the prosthetics
industry.’ (Dr. Feeney W, R.2017).

Due to the
technical advancements that we have made during the 21st century the
development of prosthetics has leaped forward enormously. This is clearly visible
in today’s prosthetics as me are no longer using primitive material like wood
or steel. The reason for this is because development has allowed us to use
plastics like polypropylene as well as stronger and lighter metals like titanium
and aluminium. The reason for this is because all of these materials are extremely
lightweight and they are also antibacterial, therefore this reduces the risk of
pathogens. Furthermore 

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