New Kingdom Egypt (c. 1500 B.C.E.)
H: 16.5 cm, W: 29 cm (H: 6.4 in, W: 11.4 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. X92.10a,b
On this headrest the single supporting column is connected to the platform and base with emphatic curves and the base is now noticeably longer than the platform. This headrest is carved of two pieces of wood with a mortice-and-tenon type connection, with the addition of side holes for inserting pegs to adjust the height. It has been estimated to date from the Eighteenth Dynasty or 1558-1303 B.C. The Egyptians liked to sleep in a sloping position, and until the Eighteenth Dynasty most beds were higher at the head than the foot: a foot board prevented the sleeper from slipping down too far … Nevertheless, beds were comparatively rare and a headrest, a prop of about the same height as the shoulder, was the greatest necessity for a good night’s sleep. Egyptians who possessed beds used a headrest as well.
Source: Dewey, William J. (1993): “Sleeping Beauties: The Jerome L. Joss Collection of African Headrests at UCLA”‚ Los Angeles, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 31