Archaeological Digs

In Switzerland, a 3,500-year-old bronze and gold hand was found, believed to be the oldest known prosthetic limb in the world.

3.500 Years Hand, Europe's Oldest Metal Body Part - image el1 on

The bronze hand has a golden cuff and was found in a man’s 3,500 year old grave. On the left is a bronze needle, pieces of gold cuff in the middle, a bronze spiral hair accessory on the right and a dagger. C: SWNS

The anatomically correct prosthesis was found by metal detectors in an area last year and was initially thought to be dating from the Middle Ages, but radiocarbon analyzes showed that the prosthesis dates back to 1500-1400 BC.

The Bronze Age prosthetic hand was discovered near the Lake Biel in the city of Bern, Switzerland, and is believed to be the oldest piece of metal body found in Europe.

Among those uncovered in the same historic area last year there was a human rib and a bronze dagger.

The experts managed to date this prosthesis to the 1500s thanks to a vegetable based adhesive used to attach the gold cuff part of the hand to the bronze part.

The prosthetic hand had a gold foil cuff made of bronze and made in the ‘distinctive’ style of the Middle Bronze Age.

He was found by a hobbyist who had a metal detector before being handed over to the Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern.

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The bronze hand was dated back to 1500 BC. C: SWNS

This discovery led to an excavation this year near the village of Prà kazıles with a middle-aged male skeleton and bronze fingers.

In the Bronze Age graves, metal objects were rare and gold was hardly found in Switzerland. So this object seems to be embedded in ritualistic form.

Stefan Hochuli, head of the Department of Memorial Conservation and Archeology in the canton of Zug, Switzerland, claims to be a first for Europe.

The fact that we know thousands of Bronze Age tombs and we can’t find anything like this shows that it’s quite special, bil Hochuli says.

The fact that the skeleton was deliberately buried in the top of a building shows that this person is ‘of great importance’ in his society.

Experts are unstable whether the prosthetic hand is made locally or is a ‘rare and expensive’ imported product.

The experts in Switzerland consulted their colleagues in Germany and France and learned that there was nothing similar in their own country.

In evaluating the findings, it is claimed that the golden headlines represent the social elite or perhaps represent a god.

A bronze cast with a socket in it shows that it was originally mounted on a long, thin object such as a pile or scepter.

The hand is now on display at the Neues Museum Biel.

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