Raymond's Quiet Press

Life in a turf house with dirt floors and animals underfoot presented challenges to personal hygiene.  Lice were an ever present nuisance.  Toiletry kits were a necessity."

Vikings The North Atlantic Saga by William Fitzhugh, pg 151

There were wide selection of both Viking and Saxon toiletry items, from full chatelaine kits
Roman women wore chatelaines with ear scoops, nail cleaners and tweezers.  In Roman Britain, 'chatelaine brooches' were worn.  Anglo-Saxon women wore a chatelaine and there is even one find of a Russian Viking chatelaine.

There are many individual pieces

Ear spoons

ear spoons

Ear spoons or ear picks are found dating from Roman times and have been commonly found in Viking digs and Anglo-Saxon digs dating from the 9th Cenury.


Tweezers are a very old tool.  There are drawings of Egyptian craftsmen holding hot pots over ovens with a double-bow shaped tool and tweezers commonly used in Mesopotamia from about 3000 BCE, perhaps for catching lice!

Scissors were probably invented in Egypt about 1500 BC.  These were spring scissors comprising of bronze blades held together with a bronze strip and were used until the 16th C.

And Combs
Combs are one of the oldest tools, dating back perhaps 5000 years ago from Persia.  A nit comb had teeth fine enough to remove fleas.  That became "go over with a fine toothed comb" meaning to go over carefully  in deal!

Written by Ray Moseley — December 03, 2015


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