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Articulated artificial right arm, Europe, 1501-1550

Attached to the body via hinged metal and leather straps this iron arm still allowed a certain range of movements. The hand is fused facing inwards, but the wrist joint can move vertically – as if to shake someone’s hand. A hollow metal globe acts as a substitute elbow joint. This may have been controlled by springs and catches, which are now missing. Surgical amputations are referred to by Hippocrates, they were for many years a main function of the surgeon. This artificial arm dates from the 1500s. During this era, most limbs were amputated due to war injuries or accidents. 

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