Dating without toes

This is a Roman leg made out of bronze and wood in around 300 B.

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Finch filmed the volunteers' walking gait using 10 video cameras, while the pressure of their footsteps was measured using a special mat.

"To try to prove this has been a complex and challenging process involving experts in not only Egyptian burial practices, but also in prosthetic design and in computerized gait assessment," she added.

The camera footage revealed that when wearing the sandals with the cartonnage replica, one of the volunteers achieved 87 percent of the flexion achieved by their normal left toe.

The three-part wood and leather design producing nearly 78 percent.

"A brief paper was published in the Lancet in February 2011, but it did not contain the data from the study," Jacqueline Finch, a researcher at the University of Manchester's KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, said in a statement.

Discovered in the necropolis of Thebe near present-day Luxor, the two artificial toes - the so-called Greville Chester toe housed in the British Museum and the Tabaketenmut toe at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo - have been called by several experts the earliest prosthetic devices in existence.

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