Perhaps the strangest garment that the Egyptian Pharaohs wore was the long, metallic beard that adorned their chins. According to most scholars and historians, the Ancient Egyptians went clean-shaven. So why were they depicted wearing these beards?

The answer is simple. Religion.

When it comes down to it, religion is the main factor here. Osiris, who is charged with judging the dead as they journey to the afterlife is himself, shown wearing a beard which appears to be wholly synthetic. So, the pharaohs would try to link themselves with Osiris by mimicking his appearance - currying flavour with the man himself.

This practice of imitation wasn’t bespoke to male pharaohs. Female rulers like Hatshepsut also depicted themselves with the famous fake beard and even masculine clothing.

All measures were taken to ensure a swift and easy journey to the field of reeds. A beard was the key.