Hair comb fragment - 973.24.659_1


Hair comb fragment

Geography: Excavated at Gebel Adda, Egypt (ancient Nubia)
Date: c. 300 BC-350 AD
Period: Meroitic Period
8 x 5.8 x 0.7 cm
Object number: 973.24.659
Credit Line: Gift of the National Geographic Society
Not on view
DescriptionThis type of wooden comb with two opposing rows of differently spaced teeth was introduced to Egypt from the Mediterranean world in post pharaonic period. This finely made example is missing about 2-2.5 cm from one side.  The original comb had an “H-shaped” frame with the subtly flaring uprights being about 1-1.5 cm across and having rounded corners. The central horizontal panel is about 1.5 cm across.  This central panel is delineated by incised horizontal lines at the edge of the teeth on both sides. The teeth on both sides taper to a point. On one side 17 of a total of c. 21 widely spaced teeth are preserved; these finely carved teeth would have been used for untangling or combing out hair. On the opposite side some 41 out of c. 50 very closely spaced teeth are preserved; these thin, narrow teeth could be used to smooth or touch up a coiffure, or perhaps to comb out lice from the hair.
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