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Archaeology & History

Ancient Egyptians really did wear head cones

By T.K. Randall
December 15, 2019 · Comment icon 3 comments

Wax head cones really were worn by the ancient Egyptians. Image Credit: Jean-Loon Gerome
Archaeologists have discovered two skeletons wearing the head cones often depicted in ancient Egyptian art.
Featured in murals, coffins, stelae and other works of Egyptian art dating back to between 3,570 and 2,000 years ago, these curious head cones had long remained something of an enigma.

Now though, the discovery of skeletons wearing these unusual items of headwear has finally confirmed that they were indeed real hats worn by the people of the time.

Dating back 3,300 years, the remains were unearthed in the city of Akhetaten (or Amarna).

"The excavation of two cones from the Amarna cemeteries confirms that three-dimensional, wax-based head cones were sometimes worn by the dead in ancient Egypt, and that access to these objects was not restricted to the upper elite," the researchers wrote.
"The Amarna discovery supports the idea that head cones were also worn by the living, although it remains difficult to ascertain how often and why."

Resembling a type of small party hat, the head cones have often been seen in depictions of people hunting and fishing in the afterlife and are thought to be connected to childbirth and fertility.

While there is nothing that immediately stands out about the two burials that might help to explain their significance and purpose, it is hoped that further analysis will help to reveal more.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (3)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by AllPossible 4 years ago
It was the beginning of the tin foil hats.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
I had learned that the 'head cones' were made of animal fat laced with spices and aromatic oils. As you'd sweat, and the heat of the day bore down on you, it'd melt and make you smell good. It was apparently most common among upper class women. Now, this might very well be outdated. I learned that hypothesis studying ancient Egyptian art in the late 90's back in college.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
I can put a pound of bacon on my head and with the heat and my sweat, i will became a famous coyote buffet !

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