Bronze tweezers

From Egypt
Late Period, after 664 BC

These tweezers are made of a single piece of metal. They closely resemble modern examples. They were used, as today, by men and women to remove unwanted hair. Priests had to remove all their body hair before they were considered pure enough to enter the temple.

Tweezers were also used during the mummification process. Tweezers of various different sizes have been found among the tools used by embalmers. Much of their work, such as the removal of the internal organs, was done by hand. It was certainly not a job for the squeamish. However, several stages of the process included the use of hot oils and resins, which could inflict serious burns. The hot oils and resins would have been applied using linen swabs, held with the tweezers. Thus the embalmers would clean out the abdominal and chest cavities once the internal organs had been removed, and anoint the skin when the desiccation (drying) of the body was complete. The tweezers may also have been used for handling the salt or natron, as prolonged contact would have the same effects on the living as it had on the dead.

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Bronze tweezers

Tweezers used to clean out the chest cavity

 

More information

Bibliography

Dimensions

Length: 9.440 cm
Width: 2.050 cm

Museum number

EA 38151

YCA51766

Location

Find in the collection online



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