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Strigil set (copy), Roman design from 199 BCE-500 CE

Part of the bathing and personal hygiene routine in ancient Rome involved cleaning the body with oil. Having rubbed the oil in, a strigil was used to scrape away any excess as well as any dead skin and dirt. The small bronze bottle would have been used for the oil. The loop, known as an annulus, is moulded into the shape of a dog’s head. This object is believed to be a copy of an original found in Pompeii, Italy. Athletes also scraped their skin with strigils to remove dirt, dust and oil from their bodies after exercise. This was sometimes bottled and sold as a medical treatment called gloios to relieve aches, pains and sprains.

Object number:

A128412

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Glossary:

Glossary: strigil

A metal or ivory instrument used to scrape skin. Used in ancient Greece and Rome to scrape the skin clear of dirt.