The next Manchester Ancient Egypt Society lecture will be given by Dr. Geoffrey Tassie
Hair and State Formation in Ancient Egypt
Hair, the most malleable part of the human body, lends itself to the most varied forms of impermanent modifications. The resulting hairstyles convey social practices and norms, and may be regarded as a “representation of self”. As such they may be considered as an integral element in the maintenance and structuring of society. Hairstyles were linked to the identity of individuals and social groups, such as men, women, children and the elderly. Within the social hierarchy hairstyles were used as a means of displaying status. After experimentation with a broad spectrum of hairstyles during the Protodynastic and early Dynasty I, an institutionalised canon for hairstyles was established, coinciding with the creation of administrative institutions. Once the canon was established standard hairstyles continued to serve as the norms for identifying members of the administration or signs of authority.
Dr. G. J. Tassie is an Honorary Research Fellow and Associate Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Winchester focussing on the areas of Predynastic Egyptian archaeology and social theory, particularly how the rise of state is reflected in the body. He has directed the Egypt Exploration Society’s Kafr Hassan Dawood and Wadi Tumilat Survey and Excavation Project in the East Delta, researching Fourth and Third Millennium BC sites and investigating the environmental history of the region. In addition to writing over 60 publications, he has devoted his time over the last 10 years to tackling issues of cultural heritage management. He is also engaged in numerous field expeditions in Europe, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.