About a year ago, I made a replica of an ancient Egyptian comb. I loved the project and have made several since. After some study I believe the blanks were originally sawn out and not split out. I believe the tines were sawn as well and the whole surface was smoothed with stones. The accents on the top were likely sawn and paired down with chisels.
I split out my blanks rather than sawing to insure that the grain is straight with no run out. The originals were often knotty and rife with run out. This makes the tines much more brittle and impossible to split out the blanks. However, plenty were of strait grain and properly oriented.