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Faculty Sponsor

Hilary Becker

Abstract

Women’s cosmetic expenditures and use have been the subject of much interest and comment since the ancient Roman times. Using descriptions of cosmetics from ancient sources paired with modern scientific analysis and experimental archaeology techniques would allow the recreation of ancient cosmetic foundations. With reference to the prices given by Diocletian’s Price Edict of 301 AD, the income share dedicated to cosmetics can be approximated for the ancient Roman woman. Comparing these numerical values to the expenditures of modern women presents an intriguing perspective on women’s continued application of cosmetics.

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