Ivory comb

3rd millennium BC

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Comb formed by two ivory plaques strung together. The fact that it appeared in a funerary context along with other adornments, as well as its superior finish and careful manufacture, suggests that its use was probably ornamental. The lower part of the object has not been preserved, so nowadays we can only see the base of the teeth. It is decorated on both sides with a fine engraving, creating a zig-zag pattern, and traces of the brown, red and black paint that would have originally covered the object are preserved on these incisions. The analyses reveal that the pigments used were iron oxide, vermilion and charcoal. It is part of the grave goods of one of the richest collective tombs in the Los Millares necropolis, where other objects were found in this material, something exotic in the Iberian Peninsula.

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  • Title: Ivory comb
  • Date Created: 3rd millennium BC
  • Location: Santa Fe de Mondújar, Almería, Spain
  • Type: Iberian schematic art
  • Rights: http://www.man.es/
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Ivory and colouring agents
  • Provenance: Los Millares (tomb 12)
  • Original Tittle: Peine en marfil de Milllares
  • Cultural Context: Chalcolithic


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