archaeology, experimental archaeology, hairdressing, hairstyles of the rich and famous, Julia Domna, research, Roman women, scholarship, Septimius Severus, Severan dynasty, social history, style, women
A really interesting look at very interesting research in “experimental archaeology” – but with hairstyles! Janet Stephens (a qualified hairdresser working in ‘ancient hairstyle reconstruction’) creates ancient hairstyles using only the appropriate available tools. Her research has upended past views on how ancient women achieved the hairstyles we see in statues and busts. Video and interview.
Her work in this field is unique because her experience as a stylist gives her particular insight into how hair works and what can be accomplished with what tools. She upends a number of assumptions — that Roman women must have used wigs to achieve their more elaborate hairstyles, that they used hairpins — and injects a whole new simplicity and accuracy to the very vocabulary of ancient hairdressing.
(Via The history blog.)