Werner Forman/Art Resource, NY

Two young men undergo circumcision as a rite of passage to manhood in this relief from the Saqqara, Egypt, tomb of Ankhmahor, the vizier of Pharaoh Teti (r. 2345–2333 B.C.E.). In this oldest extant image of circumcision, the young man on the right lightly rests his hand on the circumciser’s head, while his more squeamish comrade is restrained from behind. According to the inscription, the priest performing the ritual has told the attendant, “Hold on to him; do not let him faint.”