Why Did Ancient Egyptians Use Pillows Made Of Stone?

Kane Khanh | Archeaology
July 15, 2023

 – It might sound odd, but the ancient Egyptian did in fact use pillows made of stone. The first people to use pillows were those who lived in the early civilizations of Mesopotamia around 7,000 BC. In those days, only rich people could afford to use pillows.

The number of pillows symbolized status so the more pillows one owned the more influence he or she held.

The headrest of Shu ( “He Who Rises Up”), the Egyptian God of Air, atmosphere, and dry winds. Cairo Museum

In ancient Egypt, pillows were associated with mummies and tombs. Based on archaeological findings, it has been established that the ancient Egyptian pillows date back to 2055-1985 B.C.

Pillows in Mesopotamia were formed from stone in the shape of a crescent. This idea was born to support the neck. The pillow had the function of supporting the head in such a position as to protect against worms. It is necessary to add that these people slept on the ground, and the correct position of the head prevented getting insects into the nose, ears, and eyes. The pillow created in this way, although not comfortable for us, helped to recede the pain in the back, neck, and shoulders.

Ancient Egyptian pillows were made of stone, wood, alabaster, or glass. These pillows were not uncommon and were used because the Egyptians believed the head was an important spiritual and vital center of the body. It was sacred and considered to be the essence of life.

The ancient Egyptian word for a headrest (wrs), related to the word rs, means, “dream” and religious texts often mention stone pillows saying, “sleep well” and emphasize the importance of “raising one’s head higher” while sleeping and even n the afterlife.

As they were hard, stone pillows provided support to a corpse’s head, uphold body vigor, improved blood circulation, and maintained the vitality of the body. They also helped to avoid pain and diseases, and additionally, could keep demons away.