eygptian woman
Ancient woman found with 70 extensions fastened to her head (Jolanda Bos and Lonneke Beukenholdt)

The remains of an ancient Egyptian woman has been discovered sporting a "complex coiffure" of 70 extensions fastened to her head.

The woman is believed to be one of hundreds of people with a variety of complex hairstyles buried in a cemetery near an ancient city called Amarna - now a huge archaeological site in Egypt.

In an article published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Jolanda Bos, an archaeologist working on the Amarna Project, found she had "a very complex coiffure with approximately 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on the head".

"Whether or not the woman had her hair styled like this for her burial only is one of our main research questions," she wrote.

"The hair was most likely styled after death, before a person was buried. It is also likely, however, that these hairstyles were used in everyday life as well and that the people in Amarna used hair extensions in their daily life."

It was one of 28 skulls out of a 100 excavated skulls from the Armana cemetery which Bos found to still have hair.

One skull also had grey and black hair extensions, which indicated multiple people donated their hair to fashion the style.

Others had "very curly black hair, to middle brown straight," reflecting a "a degree of ethnic variation," Bos noted.

She also found people in the city liked braids, and wrote: "All braids found in the coiffures were simple and of three strands, mostly 1cm (0.4 in) wide, with strands of approximately 0.5 cm (0.2 in) when tightly braided.

"The longest hair that was found consisted of multi-layered extensions to a length of approximately 30cm (11.8 in)."

Amarna was ordered to be constructed in the desert by pharaoh, Akenaten, but was later abandoned following his death around 1336 BC.