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 2,000 year old hairstyle

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nordmann
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PostSubject: 2,000 year old hairstyle   Tue 05 Feb 2013, 14:15

We have always been dependent almost exclusively on ancient drawings and paintings when attempting to reimagine hairstyles of the Roman period. Corpses don't normally tend to care much for their appearance anymore, and the more complex the hairstyle the less likely it is to have survived in all its original finery. In normal burials in any case, even of rich women who in life might have invested much time and expense on their coiffure, there was still a tendency to "keep it plain", especially with the onset of conservative Christian attitudes towards the event.

One exception has traditionally been mummification in Egypt, a culture in which the dearest departed set huge store by their outward appearance on that last great journey they were about to make and who could bankrupt their nearest and dearest in their desire to spare no expense on wowing them in the afterlife. Though even then it is almost impossible to unravel a mummy without disturbing even the most elaborately protected headdress - as any hairdresser will tell you, there is really nothing permanent about a perm!

In Montreal some archaeologists and scientists have come up with a novel solution to this dilemma. At the Redpath Museum attached to McGill University they have deployed a CT scanner on three mummies from the early Roman Empire period. One of them, a young matron whose tomb in Hawara was emptied of its contents in the 19th century, revealed some interesting facets under this scrutiny. Not only were three puncture wounds in her abdomen discovered (possibly the poor girl's cause of death), and that she had particularly bad teeth, but the researchers also could map to an incredibly high degree the contours and texture of her face and hair.

Victoria Lywood, a professional forensic artist, has used this data to begin recreating the subjects in effigy. The young lady's hairstyle, sporting an impressive tutulus probably in imitation of the empress Faustina I, is particularly striking. It also helped to date the girl - Faustina was empress in the 2nd century CE.

Lywood's handiwork:
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: 2,000 year old hairstyle   Tue 05 Feb 2013, 18:40

Co-incidentally there is a fascinating new exhibition at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens titled Princesses of the Mediterranean in the Dawn of History.

In an attempt to give a Mediterranean dimension to the role of women in
the dawn of history, from the 10th century BCE to the Archaic period
(6th century BCE), 24 assemblages of grave goods associated with women
from Greece (Attica, Euboea, Macedonia, Crete), Cyprus, Southern Italy,
and Etruria are on display.


With a lovely video at bottom of the page showing the making of the exhibition.
http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/02/2013/princesses-of-the-mediterranean-in-the-dawn-of-history
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: 2,000 year old hairstyle   Mon 11 Feb 2013, 11:29

Interesting article on a hairdresser in the US who spends her free time re-creating ancient hair styles, she claims to have proved that the ancients were not wearing wigs.

Heavens these people must have sat for hours whilst their hair was being styled, I wouldn't have the patience with it I'm afraid!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324900204578286272195339456.html
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