skeleton with knife arm prosthetic

Dr. Gianni De Zuccato and Dr. Brunella Bruno/ Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Veneto, Verona

Archaeologists dig up a skeleton with a knife for an arm—and it becomes a meme

This ancient warrior took being ‘armed’ to a whole new level.


Brittany Vincent

Internet Culture

It must have been rough back in the sixth century. If you lost a limb, you didn’t have access to high-quality healthcare or any of the fancy prosthetics folks do today that make transitioning to life without one of your arms or legs a much simpler process. While there were some early attempts at prosthetic limbs discovered around that time, injured individuals were largely out of luck.

This Lombard warrior found in northern Italy (via Archaeology Magazine) was a bit of an improviser though, it seems. Researchers uncovered the long-past warrior’s remains, which were in surprisingly great condition, right down to the knife and buckle the once-ferocious warrior was seemingly wearing as a prosthetic arm.

You read that right. It wasn’t just a sword strapped to his arm for good luck in death. Researchers were able to discern that, based on the wear on his teeth from adjusting the prosthetic’s straps and the callus and bone spurs on his stump, he was indeed using the sword regularly as a replacement arm.

As expected, the internet is having a field day with this skeleton’s unorthodox choice of prosthetic.

There’s just so many awesome puns to be made about this cool discovery.

We totally get it, though. Uh, hello, it’s an ancient warrior who used a sword for an arm. If he looks this cool as a pile of bones, imagine how cool he looked when he was alive! It’s such a totally badass typical-ancient-warrior thing to do. This guy had no need for an arm! He was just trying to fight more efficiently!

Kind of sounds like some other people we know…

…and someone who should have seen that guy’s prosthetic maker, too.

Of course, most people just have jokes. As expected. They are, like the prosthetic itself likely was during its prime, quality.

Others are just impressed that this was even feasible at the time.

The Daily Dot