The mystery of redheads

Courtesy British author Jacky Colliss Harvey is a red-haired woman. A History of the Redhead " excerpt below which not only gives history, but also myths and some surprising scientific facts about those with rosy-hued hair. The specific chromosome responsible for red hair was identified just 10 years ago.

The mystery of redheads

Ginger died more than five thousand years ago, yet his golden hair, which gave him his nick-name, and even his toe- and finger-nails were perfectly preserved.

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Before mummification was developed to preserve human remains bodies were placed in shallow graves, in direct contact with the sand. Without moisture bacteria cannot breed and cause decay, and the body is preserved. There are many of these burials from the early Egyptian periods where the body is still in excellent condition.

The picture below is from the British Museum, where Ginger was brought more than a hundred years ago. He is one of the favorites for Museum visitors. Although his body is heavily stained from more than 5, years lying in the sand we can see he had a yellowish-white skin.

The mystery of redheads

He now lies in an artificial sand grave, with pottery and artifacts placed there by the Museum curators to simulate his surroundings when he was found.

They are typical of familiar household items placed with the dead of that era, similar to the way we would place tokens of memory with our dead.

He lies in the tightly curled, infantile position common to the burials of those days. This may have been an attempt to imitate the grave as the womb and he as a new born about to enter heaven.

Although this photograph does not serve well to illustrate the reason for naming this man "Ginger" he received that nickname when he was first put on display in the British Museum because of his golden curly locks.

They are somewhat visible. As we can see, similar curly locks were often sculpted on Greek and Roman statues. The above photograph on the right is that of a statue of the Roman Emperor, Augustus.

Quite clearly, the technology to produce the life-like eyes illustrated by Rahotep and Nofret in 4th Dynasty Egypt was long lost by the time the Romans produced their sculptures. Subject to the high humidity environment of London Ginger's skin began to peel from his skull. This can be seen in the golden color blank area over his left eye.

Curators have attempted to replace the peeling skin by gluing it back onto the skull, but with mixed success. Joann Fletcher has become a leading expert on Egyptian mummy remains, and the evidence they can reveal about life in those ancient times through the study of hair. She has studied human remains in museum collections around the world and on site in Egypt, including the Valley of the Kings, Yemen, and South America.

In an interview for the Discovery Channel, she had this to say: Real Egyptians cropped their curls and even shaved their heads for the sake of hygiene: And quite clearly, they also loved elaborate hairstyles, and went to great lengths to adorn themselves with wigs, false braids and hair extensions.

Ancient Egyptians didn't use hair length to distinguish gender. In excavations of manual laborers, we found elaborate styles that couldn't be created by the wearer alone; amazingly elaborate hairstyles.

Nekhen News, published by the Milwaukee Public Museum, presented two short papers by her. In those papers she gave the following: Hair is invaluable in the study of general day-to-day living conditions, as well as supplying information on diet and disease.

To begin with the most obvious factor, hair can be looked at simply in terms of its style, which may indicate the way it had been dressed during the funerary process, or, alternatively, how an individual had chosen to wear it in life.

However, it is most important to bear in mind that both men and women in ancient Egypt adopted a wide range of hair styles, ranging from a shaven head to long flowing locks.Erle Stanley Gardner A Perry Mason Mystery The Case Of The Restless Redhead By na; Erle Stanley Gardner A Perry Mason Mystery The Case Of The Restless Redhead By na.

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