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Published: Sunday, 4/1/2001

How Egyptians started the day


An ancient Egyptian woman's morning routine went like this, said Joann Fletcher, a freelance Egyptologist who delivered two lectures at the Toledo Museum of Art last weekend:

Go to bathroom, where servants shower her with warm water, which runs down a drain in the floor.

The servants shave her body, or use a depilatory to take off her hair.

They dry her with a towel.

Moisturizing oil, probably with a lotus fragrance, is “slapped on very generously.”

A makeup artist would do her eyes, cheeks, and lips, and apply henna to her nails and palms, which would stop her palms from perspiring.

If necessary, the servants would do a manicure or pedicure with a sandstone file.

She would choose her wig for the day, which a servant would arrange for her.

She would then admire her reflection in a mirror of polished bronze or copper.

Clothes of fine linen would be wrapped around her. Perhaps one hand would be restricted to show everyone she didn't have to work for a living.

She would choose her accessories for the day - earrings, collars, amulets, bracelets, beaded belts, anklet, and hair ornaments.

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