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Stone slab with seven holes for cosmetic ointments, Egypt, 1991-1786 BCE

The Egyptians wore extensive facial makeup. We know this through Egyptian artworks and artefacts. Makeup was often a mixture of minerals and plant-based ingredients. This aragonite slab was used in Egypt nearly 4000 years ago. It contains seven separate wells to hold cosmetic ointments. Each hollow is labelled with the name of the cosmetic ointment in hieroglyphics, now partially worn away. The wearing on the slab suggests the equipment was extensively used by a right-handed person.

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Glossary: classical and medieval medicine

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Glossary: ointment slab

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