A recent Wall Street Journal article profiled Janet Stephens a professional hairdresser that not only developed an interest in the hairstyles of ancient Rome and Greece but has conducted research and put forth such well-thought, and tested, propositions that may almost single-handedly alter a basic premise of historic coiffure.
As the article states “Basically, she has set out to prove that the ancients probably weren’t wearing wigs at all.”
Ms. Stephens spent months poring over translations of Roman literature, art and fashion history. She studied texts, paintings and sculptures in an effort to solve how these elaborate and intricate hairstyles could in held in place on the subject.
The findings that resulted from her tireless research were published in the Journal of Roman Archaeology only the second known article believed to be written by a nonarcheologist.
A tip-of-the-hat to Ms. Janet Stephens and all the other amateur historians, archeologists and researchers out there!
Consider carving out a place at your next academic conference or symposium for the interested amateur – perhaps there is an appropriate way to include their work and harness their enthusiasm.