Baldness Scenes In Ancient Egyptian Private Tombs; As An Indicator Of Social Class, Activity And Physical Ability

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty Of Tourism & Hotels, Minia University


The Ancient Egyptians were quite advanced in their diagnoses and treatments of various illnesses. Their advancements in ancient medical techniques were quite extraordinary. The ancient Egyptians used their knowledge of the human anatomy and the natural remedies to treat with different diseases and disorders effectively.
Analysis of human remains, textual evidences and art depictions attested physical conditions and diseases that the ancient Egyptians were suffered from. Baldness and hair loss was one of the most important dermatological diseases the ancient Egyptians concerned. The ancient Egyptians were searching for a hair loss cure since1500 BC.
The Egyptian word for “bald” is
 “is” or “ỉᶟs”  , which defines the natural baldness. This article aims to be an analytical- descriptive study of the modes of representation related to baldness figures in ancient Egyptian private tombs, their different types of portrayal and interpretations. Moreover the article would find out if baldness was restricted to other specific diseases. The researcher would also discuss the relationship between baldness and social classes in the ancient Egyptian society based on examining a group of private tomb scenes and textual evidences, in order to present a broader overview of the physical disabilities in ancient Egyptian contexts. Complete baldness or the clean shaven depictions will not regard in this paper, as it will be so difficult and confusing to differentiate between natural baldness and the artificial cases.