General, Research, Technology

Did tattoos exist in ancient Egypt?

The culture of ancient Egypt is full of mysteries, thereforescientists constantly study it and make amazing discoveries almost every month. For example, in 2018, archaeologists found mummies of lions in the territory of the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, as well as a huge statue of a scarab beetle and talked about their purpose. Now, researchers have become a little more aware of the importance of ancient Egyptian tattoos. Earlier, in more than a hundred-year history of studying the life of the ancient Egyptians, tattoos were found in only six mummies. But it turned out that they are on many other embalmed bodies, just not visible to the naked eye. But how did the scientists manage to make out the underwear drawings and what were they for?

Researchers study the mummy under infrared light.

Science Reveals New StudyNews, citing a statement by scientists from the US state of Missouri. According to archaeologist Anne Austin, tattooed mummies were discovered at the Deir al-Medina cemetery, located near the Egyptian city of Luxor. The remains belonged to women who died about 3,000 years ago. Initially, the researchers did not notice any tattoos on their bodies, however, looking at the mummies under infrared light, they immediately noticed various figures and hieroglyphs.

It’s amazing to work in an ancient tomb and suddenly see tattoos on a mummified person using infrared light, ”said Ann Austin.

Tattoos in Ancient Egypt

On different parts of the body of one of the embalmedwomen researchers counted at least 30 tattoos. Basically, various figures in the form of crosses were applied to her skin. Such tattoos were not previously seen in any of the mummies studied in the last century. Also on the woman’s body, researchers found patterns that resemble hieroglyphs in ancient Egyptian writing. All these signs encouraged scholars to suggest that the woman was closely associated with the religious sphere.

Tattoo on the neck of one of the mummies

Do you know why visiting the pyramids is a waste of time?

Researchers found on another woman’s necktattoo in the shape of a human eye. As a rule, this sign symbolized protection among the ancient Egyptians. Also on both sides of her neck were images of sitting monkeys, however, scientists have not yet been able to figure out what they symbolize by themselves. On the skin of several other mummies, researchers found drawings of papyrus, gods and various animals. Scientists are sure that in all these signs there is some sense. They will most likely deal with this in the future.

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What tools were used to apply thesetattoos, scientists also do not yet know. However, the art of drawing drawings on the skin arose thousands of years ago and historians even know the methods of tattooing some peoples. For example, the ancient inhabitants of present-day North America made body designs using two cactus spines, held together with a wooden stick and rope. You can read more about this invention of ancient peoples in our special material.