Scientists Just Discovered The Oldest Lipstick Ever Found – And It Was Made 3,700 Years Ago

In the heart of Iran’s Jiroft region lies a fascinating discovery—a small vial containing a deep red paste believed to be an ancient tube of lipstick. Dating back nearly 4,000 years, this intriguing find sheds light on the beauty practices of ancient civilizations.

Researchers recently published a study in Scientific Reports, unveiling the remarkable antiquity of the lipstick. Originating between 1936 and 1687 B.C.E., the vial is thought to have belonged to the Mar?aši civilization, an ancient powerhouse in eastern Iran.

Unearthed amidst ancient graveyards during a 2001 flood, the lipstick vial reached the Archaeological Museum of Jiroft. This region boasted a rich tradition of cosmetics, with eyeliner made of some and various powders adorning cheeks and eyebrows.

Analyzing the vial’s contents, researchers identified a mixture of hematite, manganite, braunite, galena, anglesite, and plant-based waxes—resembling contemporary lipstick recipes. The vial, intricately decorated with fine incisions, stands out with its unique size and shape, hinting at branding and trade practices of ancient cosmetics.

Despite unravelling the cosmetic’s composition, the identity of its owner remains elusive. Little is known about the individuals buried in the ancient graveyards, posing a challenge to understanding the wearer of this ancient lipstick. However, Massimo Vidale, an archaeologist, emphasizes the significance of cosmetics in ancient society, highlighting its role in shaping social dynamics and hierarchies.

The discovery of this ancient lipstick not only offers a glimpse into ancient beauty rituals but also underscores the cultural and social significance of cosmetics in early civilizations.

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