These are the handles of toothbrushes used by ancient Chinese 1,000 years ago during the Song Dynasty (960 -1279).
The handles are made of tiger bones while the brushes were produced from horse-tail hairs.
Apart from animal bones, horns, bamboo and wood were also common materials for toothbrush handles in ancient China.
This is part of a 4×10 metre mural in #196 cave built during the time between 892 and 893 at Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang. The image depicts how a newly ordained Buddhist monk brushed his teeth.
Yet even Tang people were not the first group of Chinese to use toothbrushes to keep their teeth healthy and mouth clean.
The toothbrush handle in the photo was unearthed from an East Han tomb (25-220), indicating Chinese began this oral hygiene practice at least 1,800 or 2,000 years ago.
This double-layered container was unearthed from a tomb dating back to China’s Warring States period about 2,300 years ago. With its superb insulation capacity, it could be used as a fridge.
This toilet set was unearthed from the ancient tomb of Chu Kingdom (1115 BC – 223 BC) before First Emperor Qin.
This magnifier was unearthed from the tomb of Han Dynasty Prince Guangling (1 – 67) in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province.
It is made of a piece of crystal with a gold gilt frame.
This calliper was produced during Wang Mang’s rule (8AD – 23 AD) at the end of the West Han Dynasty (202BC – 8AD).
It is most likely used in carpentry work.
This pair of bronze pincers was produced during the short-lived yet highly creative Qin Dynasty ( 221 BC – 206 BC) reigned by First Emperor Qin.
This Tang Dynasty (618-917) silver tea mill was rediscovered in 1987 from underground storage at the ancient Famen Temple in Xi’an outskirts.
This is the real journey to the west during the Tang Dynasty more than 1,000 years ago – a lonely Chinese backpacker without powerful companies of a magic Monkey King, a hard-working river demon, an entertaining lazy pig and an organic vehicle the white horse.
Note the classic Chinese backpack on his back and a small lantern before him.