It's a fairly customary practice now among women—and, I suspect, especially black women—to sew in, glue in or have full-head weaves attached to their hair when they are buried. But because it seems like such a contemporary beauty regimen, archaeologists were puzzled to find a woman buried in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago with an elaborate design of 70 weave extensions attached to her hair.
According to Discovery News, the Jane Doe wasn’t the only female corpse in the ancient cemetery who had her tresses laid for the weave gods. Jolanda Bos, an archaeologist who is working on this discovery, made more observations.
“Many of the other skulls Bos analyzed also had hair extensions. One skull had extensions made of gray and dark black hair suggesting multiple people donated their hair to create extensions,” the news site reports.
The female skull with 70 extensions attached to it was buried near an ancient city now called Amarna. And while researchers didn’t say what race she was—or the race of the people living in her city—there are some clues. For instance, it is likely “that the people in Amarna used hair extensions in their daily life” and that they had a range of hair textures, “from very curly black hair, to middle brown straight.”
Researchers described how many of the skulls had a hairstyle that we refer to today as shoulder-length box braids.
“‘All braids found in the coiffures were simple and of three strands, mostly 1 cm [0.4 inches] wide, with strands of approximately 0.5 cm [0.2 inches] when tightly braided,’ Bos writes in the journal article,” the news site reported.
Ancient Egyptian women were concerned with covering up their signs of aging, too. Gray hair was a no-no.
“In one case a woman has an orange-red color on her graying hair. It appears that she dyed her hair, possibly with henna (a flowering plant).”
It’s nice to see that curly-haired women living in ancient Egypt wore braid extensions and colored their hair to their liking—much like modern women do today.
Read more at Discovery News.