Lice Combs in History


Lice Combs in History

Image credit: A 12th-century ivory liturgical comb made in England. (Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen/CC BY 2.5)


We thought our readers would enjoy this. Take a look closely at these combs and how they resemble the exact lice combs that we use. Although we use the highest quality lice combs on the market, it is interesting to see what people did in the not-so-recent past for lice removal.

Some of History’s Most Beautiful Combs Were Made for Lice Removal | Atlas Obscura A 19th-century de-lousing comb made in India. (Photo: Science Museum, London, Wellcome Images)

Thirty years ago, parasitologist Kostas Mumcuoglu and anthropologist Joseph Zias were examining a first-century hair comb excavated from the West Bank when they found a surprise lurking in its fine teeth: 10 head lice and 27 louse eggs.

With their “interest in lice having been aroused,” they later wrote, they began to look more closely at some other ancient combs that had recently been excavated. To their delight, eight of the 11 combs unearthed in the Judean Desert contained lice, eggs, or both.

Again, take a moment to see the exact combs used in the 14th and 15th century. For more lice removal, take a look at Are you in Denver, see our new Drive Folder here: Are you in Boulder? See us here!

Some of History’s Most Beautiful Combs Were Made for Lice Removal | Atlas Obscura The 15th-century ivory comb, above, shows, in the words of the Walters Art Museum, “typical pastimes of wealthy nobles.” These include dancing in a garden, playing a portable organ, and hunting deer. While most of the comb’s original paint has worn off, the gold on the hair of the figures remains intact.

A 14th-century ivory comb made in Paris. (Photo: Valerie McGlinchey/CC BY-SA 2.0)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *