We have often seen pirate films with hook arm characters. In 300 for glory, there is an executioner who uses his arm equipped with a sharp blade to decapitate generals. One then wonders if these are mere Hollywood fictions or an indisputable reality.
In 2018, archaeologists discovered a really interesting skeleton. This discovery took place in a large cemetery in Italy. Different from the other skeletons found, it was not just anyone’s! They were the bones of a man who had long had a knife instead of a hand.
Dating between the 6th and 8th century, it belonged to the civilization of the lombards. The knife as a hand for this man comes from the culture of these legendary warriors. Indeed, the Lombards were recognized as particularly warlike and designed weapons sometimes beyond imagination.
A prosthesis equipped with a knife, on an amputated arm!
Scientists have found plenty of evidence that this man actually had a knife after his forearm was amputated. In addition, clues have confirmed thathe lived a very long time with his prosthesis fitted with a knife.
It was researchers from the Sapienza University of Rome who discovered the skeleton of this man at the “hand-knife”. Having lived in northern Italy, this man was between 40 and 50 years old. He had a incurable fracture. Researchers do not yet know the precise reason for this injury, but it could be a medical after-effect, a simple accident or a loss during a battle.
Because of his injury, the man got amputated at the level of the forearm. The researchers attested that he was indeed wearing a prosthesis. Moreover, clues have made it possible to determine that it was not not an ordinary prosthesis.
Because of the biomechanical pressure, the prosthesis left marks on his bones. He used his teeth to tighten the straps that held the device. That is why his teeth were particularly worn, especially those on the right side. It even opened up her pulp cavity and caused a bacterial infection. His shoulder was deformed into a C shape because there was a loop used to attach the prosthesis. There was a leather cap on the amputated limb. The knife was attached to this headdress.
A Surprising Survival of the Knife-Handed Man
After the amputation of his hand, this man survived for a long time! However, during this period, the antibiotic did not yet exist. This is what makes this discovery even more intriguing, because it tends to attest to a certain know-how of this medieval civilization.
“This Lombard man shows remarkable survival after forelimb amputation in the pre-antibiotic era. Not only did he adapt very well to his condition, but he did so using a device from his culture, as well as considerable community support. »
The research team