Egyptian alabaster cosmetic vessel, 2000-1700 B.C.

The cosmetic was used for two main reasons, ritual and ornamental, women makeup, dress and put on wigs in rituals, and even on a daily basis. They used kohl and other cosmetics such as oils, ointments and creams, which were applied to the skin to protect it from the desert sun. These ointments were usually made of materials that were not very perishable as they were used in funerary rituals and ended up being part of the trousseau for the afterlife. In this case the alabaster is a difficult material to work and to obtain reason why the piece is very special.


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