Thousands Of Years Ago, Influential Egyptians Used Ivory Combs To Eliminate Lice And Untie Knots.

| How Africa News
Ivory<a Href=httpshowafricacom> <a>combphoto<a Href=httpshowafricacom> <a>credit Atlas Obscura


The ivory-carved comb features six broad teeth on one side that helped Egyptians of high social standing detangle knots in their hair. On the other side of the comb are 14 extra teeth that were used to look for and remove lice and their eggs from the hair.

According to Heritage Daily, it is a double-edged comb designed to provide relief to unkempt hair ravaged by lice. The comb’s dimensions are reported to be 3.5 by 2.5 cm on each side.

The 17 Canaanite letters etched on this comb, however, are the most remarkable part of it. Historians believe it demonstrates the early development of the alphabet writing in Egyptian society. Archaeologists spent years attempting to decipher the meaning of the Canaanite inscriptions until 2022, when it was determined to read “may this tusk root out the lice of the hair and beard.”

Dr. Daniel Vainstub, a researcher and Semitic epigraphist at Ben Gurion University, explained that the inscription’s shallow character made it obscure at the first instance of viewing. He stated that a subsequent post-processing exercise in 2022 enabled them to make sense of the text.

The archaeologists noted that they initially assumed the Canaanite language was Israel since that is what the passage implied. However, they discovered that Canaanites also live in Syria’s Ugarit region.

However, a digression in the text was that the Canaanite cities were mentioned in Egyptian documents, the Akkadian Amarna letters, and the Hebrew Bible. Archaeologists discovered that the inscription on the comb was related to the use of the alphabet in Egyptian daily life 3,700 years ago.

A team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Southern Adventist University in the United States discovered the comb in Tel Lachish, Israel, in 2017. According to researcher Professor Yosef Garfinkel, the inscription demonstrates the depth of early man’s knowledge and ability to communicate through writing.

Early and archaic combs were carved from wood, bone, or ivory. Due to the scarcity of elephant tusks, ivory was expensive in the creation of comb for the market. However, there were no elephants in Canaan during the time period assigned to the ivory, implying that the comb came from nearby Egypt.

Archaeologists believed that even the most affluent members of Egyptian culture had lice in their hair. The archaeologists stated that when they examined the comb under a microscope, images taken from both sides of the comb revealed that it had contact with lice.

The lice’s fossil remnants indicated that it was 0.5-0.6 mm in size. The discovery, according to the experts, has given them a better understanding of how the Bronze Age men of Canaan dealt with their issues and the kind of investment they made to do so.

The archaeologists noted that the inscription also revealed information about the Canaanite inhabitants of Tel Lachish’s language.

Written by How Africa News

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