Hadassah Medical School

Lice harvest. Isolated from a first-century A.D. wooden comb found at Qumran are the remains of a head louse. The louse, in its nymph form, died while molting.

Authors Mumcuoglu and Zias have examined 24 ancient combs and several hair samples so far. Fifty percent of the combs examined contained lice or louse eggs or both—dramatic evidence that itchy scalps afflicted the peoples of ancient Israel.