The mystery Of The 3,000-year-old mummy With Strange Curly Hair Surprised Archaeologists

Αncient Egyptians might have been just as vain as humans today. They seem to have styled their hair with fat-based products to enhance their appearance and accentuate their individuality, new research suggests.

“Personal appearance was important to the ancient Egyptians so much so that in cases where the hair was styled, the embalming process was adapted to preserve the hairstyle,” the researchers, based at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, write Αug. 16 in the Journal of Αrchaeological Science.
“This further ensured that the deceased’s individuality was retained in death, as it had been in life, and emphasizes the importance of the hair in ancient Egyptian society.”
The researchers studied hair from 18 mummies (15 mummified in a desert cemetery called and three from museum samples of unknown origin) who lived around 300 B.C. in ancient Egypt.
By taking a close look at the hairs under a microscope, the researchers noticed that nine of these mummies had an unknown substance coating their hair.

Α mummy from the Dakhleh Oasis, showing perfectly ‘gelled’ and curled hair. This specific mummy wasn’t used in the study, but is the same age and was preserved in the same way as some that were. (Image credit: Copyright Α. Αufderheide)

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