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Comb to brush hair or detangle textile threads Probably 13th–15th centuries, Egypt Incised bone Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 1966.1.173


While only the base of the teeth survive, this incised bone tool clearly functioned as some sort of combing device. It may have been used as a comb to brush hair and remove dirt and lice. It also may have been an implement in artistic processes, such as detangling warp threads before weaving them into cloth. While this type of everyday object or tool was manufactured for utilitarian purposes, it nevertheless was embellished. In this instance, the center of the comb is ornamented with a symmetrical composition of curvilinear incised patterns situated within a double-lined frame.

Bibliography: Georges 1991, pls. III–VII; Scanlon 1997; and Raziq 1972.

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