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by Archaeology Newsroom

Petrified human hair. Information and problems

Human hair is a “new” valuable material for study and research by the archaeologist. It is discovered mainly in excavations of burials. It provides us with information about the race, sex, age, and health of people, as well as about the habits and the social and cultural context of the period under investigation. Because of its fragility ,this material is rarely found. Its preservation is difficult and depends on the environmental conditions at the time of the burial and the degree of their stability over the years. Finally, there is always a danger of breaking the hair when collecting it from the soil. Today human hair, discovered in archaeological sites, adds a new topic of interest to the study of the palaeoenvironment and to anthropology.