What accessories did Ancient Egyptians use to add color to their appearance?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ancient Egyptians payed careful attention to the way they adorned their bodies, particularly the higher strata of Egyptian society.  The women used pastes and dyes derived from different plants to color their nails, hands, feet, and hair.  "In the New Kingdom ... [a]dvances in dye fixatives allowed for more colorful linen" (HistoryEmbalmed.org).  Items made of wood and metal were crafted as breast plates, often adorned with jewels tied together on a string made from flax yarn.  Precious metals and jewels and gemstones added color through accessories.

In addition to the above, Egyptians also used tattoos to adorn their bodies.  Experts on Ancient Egypt at the Smithsonian Museum have noted the use of tattoos on female Egyptians dating back thousands of years.  Tattoos, for example, have been found on the mummies of Egyptian women that have been dated to around 2,000 B.C. ["Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History," Smithsonian.com, January 1, 2002]  Egyptian tattoos usually depicted important symbols, for example, scarab beetles, cobras, sphinxes, etc.

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