Encyclopedia knowledge of beeswax

The head cone mystery of the ancient Egyptians is made of beeswax

In Egyptian sculptures and murals, we can always see the ancient Egyptians wearing a weird "bamboo shoot hat", this kind of headwear will wrap the entire head and face, so it is called "crown." Before this, archaeologists had never found the actual head crown, and the head crown has always been regarded as a kind of artistic creation, similar to the "back light" often used in Buddhist and Christian sculptures.

Until recently, an article published in the magazine "Archaeology" mentioned that in two ancient Egyptian tombs in 2010 and 2015, physical crowns appeared.

Both tombs are located in Amarna, the capital of the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt. The tomb was discovered in 2010. The deceased was a woman between 20 and 30 years old. Her hair was braided into two thick and long hairs. The conical "crown" is well preserved. The crown is flat and tapered, with a height of about 8 cm and a width of about 10 cm. The owner of the tomb in 2015 was only 15 to 20 years old, and his gender was difficult to judge. Although he did not have braids, he also wore a conical crown.

Previous research believed that the crown was widely used by Egyptian nobles from 1550 BC to 50 BC. It took 1,500 years during this period, from the 18th dynasty of Egypt to the occupation of Egypt by Octavian. The Ptolemaic dynasty was destroyed and Egypt became the Roman-Egyptian province. It is worth mentioning that the name "Pharaoh" also officially became a special name for the rulers of ancient Egypt starting from the 18th dynasty.

However, new findings indicate that the crown is not exclusively for the elderly or nobles, because judging from the bones and burial objects of the two tomb owners, they are not high-ranking officials, but civilians. They may have been engaged in heavy manual labor during their lives. Long-term malnutrition. In addition to the user, the texture of the crown is also very different from previous studies.

Previous studies have suggested that the crown is hard and meltable solid with a faint fragrance. Ancient Egyptians believed that this fragrance can clean human hair and body. However, through the spectral analysis of the two actual crowns, the researchers found that the crowns were made of beeswax, which was soft in texture, strong in plasticity, and had no volatile fragrance gas, and even if it had, it had already been evaporated.

The two crowns can be said to subvert the original research of archaeologists. Based on new discoveries, some scholars pointed out that wearing crowns is a common phenomenon in ancient Egyptian funerals, but the crowns used by nobles and civilians are quite different. The nobles used the crowns that we saw in the murals, and for the common people, they were not "qualified" and could not afford such crowns. Instead, they used beeswax crowns.

Because the texture is soft and heat-resistant, the beeswax crown cannot be used in the sun and can only be placed in the tomb. The reason why the common people use beeswax crowns to bury them is that they hope that through this imitation, they can change their social status and become aristocratic society after rebirth.