22. Three Terracotta Fashionistas

Mehrgarh, Indus Valley, c. 3000 BC 
Size: 9 cm; 14 cm; 9.5 cm

Download PDF

It’s the hairstyles that are the giveaway. Getting done up like this would not have left enough time in the day for harlotry, nor have given the girls the necessary freedom of movement required for such a performance. This particular hairstyle was popular in Mehrgarh c. 3000 BC, and so, apart from the building of walls and the crafting of figurines, hairdressing was clearly an important form of artistic self-expression. Four thousand years after developing farming and herding in South Asia, there was a hairdresser on every high street. Paying attention to hairstyling is a sign of an advanced culture; late 18th-century France and late 1960s King’s Road are obvious examples.