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Comb, hairpin and male idol

(male idol shown)

Predynastic Period, before 3200 B.C.

Ivory, findspots not known

Although the comb, only one tooth of which is partially preserved, and the hairpin have been regarded as proof of the just how enamored the ancient Egyptians were of cosmetics, the fact that such items were habitually placed in tombs forces one to revise this perception. Such objects were interred with the deceased for protection from evil forces during the perilous transition from this world into the Hereafter in much the same way that the male idol, doubtless representing a god, symbolically assisted in the deceased's resurrection.

Photo courtesy of Roemer und Pelizaeus Museum

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