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 Museum Explorer

Daily life in
Ancient Egypt

Headrest

Height: 19.200 cm

EA 18156

Headrest

From: Akhmin, Egypt
Date: Late 18th Dynasty, around 1225 BC

It might not look very comfortable to us, but this headrest was used by wealthy ancient Egyptians as a pillow while they slept.

Look closely and you can see that the legs are in the form of ducks. The sides of the neck piece are carved with the head of Bes, the god who protected the home and family. People felt that at night they were at risk from demons that could attack while they slept, causing illness and nightmares. Figures or heads of Bes were placed on headrests to ward off these evil forces.