Roman women had different ways to style hair, something which changed over the centuries depending on the fashion followed by the aristocracy in Roman Empire times. Our students found some examples during the campaigns in the Roman city of Sanisera (Menorca, Balearic Islands).
At that time there were different types of accessories to fix and decorate hair. Among those, hair pins (called Acus crinalis in Latin) were widely used by women, which were produced in different materials including bronze, wood, stone, ivory and bone.
The location of hair pins in archaeological sites is very important, since they are one of the few artifacts that provide evidence for the presence of Roman women in different contexts (e.g. private spaces, industrial areas, public buildings, religious areas, etc.)
Hair pin with pinecone head from Sanisera
Every year some bone hair pins are found at the Roman city of Sanisera, usually located inside rooms from the buildings we have uncovered so far. Some of these hair pins are beautifully decorated with carvings at the head featuring different sorts of designs, such as geometrical patterns, pinecones and female busts, among others.
Head featuring the same female bust as hair pin from featured image
As we continue findings these objects we will be able to analyze aspects such as the possible concentration of hair pins in certain areas of the city, the change in hair pins’ typologies over time and whether fashions were the same in Sanisera than in the rest of the Roman world. This is a good question, don’t you believe?
If you need more information about our courses, please visit programs for archaeological campaign’s 2015.
Roman hairstyle using bone hair pins