Ancient Egyptians: They're just like us!

Egyptian mummies were coiffed for the afterlife with the help of animal fat-based hair gel. Bonus moment of cultural weirdness: The article linked here seems to ignore the fact that styling the hair of the dead isn't just some odd thing the ancient Egyptians did. In fact, it's a common facet of modern Western burial practices. (Via Rowan Hooper)


  1. I’m not sure that “vanity” is the right word.  “I’ll probably live until I’m 47 and then I’ll be dead for a gazillion billion years. All my friends and all the priests say I’ll meet god and be judged by him. This may be Apis-shit, but no-one seems to think that’s the case. So, should I do my hair first, or just have my rag-clad carcass thrown to the jackals?” I’d have gone for the former, myself. 

    The article doesn’t say how they knew the living ancient Egyptians used “a cone of animal fat”. Are they sure? I use a solid but olive-oil based hair-dressing (yeah, all right, that’s vanity) and there are plenty of vegetable-based soaps and unguents as well. 

    1. As far as I know, “animal or vegetable fat in his hair” is actually one of those things that’s easier to answer on a mummified corpse than “What colour was his skin in life”.

      1. Well, I guess. But I wish they’d specify. The official wording in these articles leaves me thinking about Pharoahs and concubines with a sugarloaf-sized cone of lard on their heads. Seems a little declasse. 

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