T. Sagiv, Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums

A finely carved wooden louse comb, preserved by the dry climate of the Judean desert where it was found, dates to the second century A.D. The comb’s intricately fashioned teeth—16 on one side and 39 on the other—are more dense and numerous than on most lice combs, rendering it all the more effective.

Most ancient combs are double-sided and have more teeth on one side than the other. The user would straighten his or her hair with the side that had the fewer teeth and then whisk away lice and louse eggs with the finer and more numerous teeth on the other side of the comb.