Egyptian culture has long been revered for their artistic achievements—the Great Sphinx of Giza, the Abu Simpel Temples, the Mask of Tutankhamun and a couple of little buildings called the Pyramids of Giza. Now scientists have discovered that alongside the role of master sculptors, ancient Egyptians were also tattoo artists.
Austin reported her findings at the annual meeting of the American Schools Of Oriental Research. Using Infrared photography (that displays wavelength of light invisible to the naked eye), researchers found tattoos on seven mummified individuals dating to at least 3,000 years ago at a site called Dier-el-Medina. The research takes the total number of mummies that have been found with tattoos over the course of 100 years of research to 13 (including the six mummies that were spotted earlier).
Out of these 13 mummies that have been found, 12 of them are females while one is male. At Dier-el-Medina, only female mummies have been spotted with tattoos. “It’s quite magical to be working in an ancient tomb and suddenly see tattoos on a mummified person using infrared photography,” mentioned Austin.
The tattoos that have been revealed show different symbols and places which are not identifiable, however, Austin explained that these tattoos could be associated with women’s roles as healers or religious practitioners. However, they couldn’t find any pattern among the tattoos revealed on different mummified individuals as all of them had different kinds of tattoos.