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3,700 year old comb found in Israel with advice about lice inscribed in it

Archaeologists in Israel recently found a comb that dates back 3,700 years. The comb has possibly the oldest known full sentence inscribed on the comb. It’s written in Canaanite alphabetical script.

The sentence offers some helpful advice: be sure to comb your hair and beards to get rid of any lice.

According to My Twin Tiers, it translates to “May this tusk root out the lice of the hair and the beard.”

This discovery can help show the earliest known use of the Canaanite alphabet, which was created around 1800 B.C.


Canaanite was the foundation for Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin and Cyrillic.

The comb suggests lice was a common issue in that day, and microscopic evidence of head lice was even found on the comb.

It was first found in 2016 at Tel Lachish, a site in southern Israel, but the words weren’t noticed until 2022. The findings were published in the Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology today.

There have been various artifacts found with Canaanite script, but this is the first one to have a full sentence on it.


Previous items had letters or single words, so it was harder to be able to study the lives of Canaanites.

The ivory comb was located in the palace and temple district, mentioning beards. It could suggest that only rich men were able to read or write.

Canaanites are believed to be the first civilization to create an alphabet and system of writing.

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