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World’s Oldest Lipstick Discovered In Iran

World's Oldest Lipstick Discovered In Iran

Trends in beauty come and go, but deep red lipstick has been a classic for thousands of years. From the beginning of time, women and men alike have used this colour to paint their faces. Archaeologists have now located the earliest known tangible lipstick example. The contents of a tiny stone vial from Iran that was carbon-dated between 1936 and 1687 B.C. are a Bronze Age example of dark red lipstick that was most likely applied with a brush.

Where Did the Researchers Find This Old Lipstick Originally?

The artefact is from the Bronze Age and was made between 1936 BC and 1687 BC. It was first found by researchers in 2001 after ancient graveyards were washed away in a flood, according to a study released in February by the journal Scientific Reports.

Discovering the Oldest Lipstick Container in the World

Claiming to contain lip paint, a cylindrical container resembling a contemporary tube of lipstick was found in 2001 in a third-millennium B.C. cemetery close to the Halil River in Kerman Province, southeastern Iran. Researchers led by Vidale recently looked at the container and wrote about their findings in a study that came out last month in the journal Scientific Reports.

Irony in the Context of History

It’s funny that the first known lipstick was found in Iran, where makeup like lipstick and nail polish were banned after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Even though some rules have been loosened, many women still can’t wear makeup. This includes government workers and medical students.

Examining Historical Cosmetics

Vidale said that the contents of the vial were in the form of a powder because they had dried out after more than 3,700 years. Dark pigments could be seen clearly under a microscope, which showed that the original product was an “intense red colour,” the study’s team wrote.

Scientists were able to figure out what the makeup was by using an environmental scanning electron microscope. It has a lot of hematite, which is a ferric oxide mineral. Its name comes from the Greek word for “blood” because it is red. It also has vegetable oils and waxes in it, which are also found in lipstick today.

What the Research Team Found

Vidale and his colleagues were able to study the lipstick with help from the universities of Tehran and Padua, as well as the International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies in Rome. Nasir Eskandari, one of the researchers, saw the vial in the collection of the Jiroft Archaeological Museum in Iran and became interested in it.

At the time, no one knew what it was for. The container was first found when the Halil River flooded ancient graveyards in 2001, revealing many artefacts. A lot of things were stolen, but Iranian security forces found and returned them.

Features and Design of the Antique Lipstick Case

With dimensions of about two inches in height and three-quarters of an inch in width, the stone vial is just smaller than a contemporary lipstick tube. The chlorite container was carved by hand and had a hole in the top to get the contents out. It looks like a marsh reed because of its chiseled features, which gives you an idea of what it’s for.


Some people like to think that the women of early Iran were the stars of the most important societies 5,000 years ago since our lip paint is quite old. But more research will show more in the future.

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