January 13, 2013

Applied archaeology?

Filed under: Experimental archaeology, Rome — acagle @ 3:57 pm

How to recreate the hairstyle of Rome’s Vestal Virgins: Hairdressing archaeologist ‘reverse engineers’ the ancient ‘do

A U.S. hairdresser has painstakingly ‘reverse engineered’ the ‘do – thought to be Rome’s oldest – and shown how it may have been carried out.

The Vestal Virgins were the priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth, and their sacred duty was to guard the fire in her temple, which was linked to the prosperity of Rome.

Chosen before puberty and bound by a vow of celibacy, their braided hairstyle, known as the sini crenes, was a symbol of their chastity.

Janet Stephens, a Baltimore-based hairdresser and amateur archaeologist, has unravelled the secrets of the Vestals’ braids and recreated it for the first time on a modern head.

That’s pretty neat, although I have no real expertise with which to critique it. They have a small clip of the video at the link but below is the full video from YouTube:

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