Archaeological Hairstyling  SARAH PAVIS  ·  FEB 13 2013

Historians said ancient hairstyles were so difficult to achieve they had to have been wigs. Janet Stephens, professional hairstylist and amateur scholar, took that as a challenge.

Studying translations of Roman literature, Ms. Stephens says, she realized the Latin term "acus" was probably being misunderstood in the context of hairdressing. Acus has several meanings including a "single-prong hairpin" or "needle and thread," she says. Translators generally went with "hairpin."

The single-prong pins couldn't have held the intricate styles in place. But a needle and thread could. It backed up her hair hypothesis.

In 2007, she sent her findings to the Journal of Roman Archaeology.

In what may be the ultimate YouTube fashion how-to video, Janet Stephens walks through how she reverse engineered the elusive Vestal Virgin hairstyle from statues and then shows you how to braid and bind the hair to get that look that was oh-so fashionable 1800 years ago. It makes going to a museum feel like opening a copy of Elle magazine.

kottke.org

Front page
About + contact
Site archives

Subscribe

Follow kottke.org on Twitter

Follow kottke.org on Tumblr

Like kottke.org on Facebook

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Advertisement

Ads by The Deck

Support kottke.org shop at Amazon

And more at Amazon.com

Looking for work?

More at We Work Remotely

Kottke @ Quarterly

Subscribe to Quarterly and get a real-life mailing from Jason every three months.

 

Enginehosting

Hosting provided EngineHosting