Recently researches discovered tattoos on a mummy that was 5000 years old in Egypt. They found a tattoo that illustrated Barbary sheep and even a wild bull on male mummy. This was present on the upper arm. It was a male mummy and there was also one tattoo present on another female mummy. However, this was S-shaped motifs and present on the upper-arm. The summary of this discovery is, we can track back the tattoo culture to 1000 years.
Other Details About This Discovery
All the details of this discovery has been published in a journal. Daniel Antoine was one of the lead authors in these discoveries. He is also the Curator at the British Museum of Physical Anthropology. He stated that through this discovery, people can understand more about the people who lived in Egypt at that time.
Even though it was thousands of years back, we are now able to get some interesting insights about their lives. This happened because of the presence of mummies or preserved individuals. Hence we have found the evidence for tattooing that was practiced 5000 years ago.
The male mummy was found 100 years go and CT scans showed that he was around 18-21 years when he died. Whereby, the main cause of his dead was a stab wound on his back. There were dark smudges present on his right arm. Initially, no one found it is significant but later on through infrared scans they came to know that they were nothing but tattoos .
The tattoo illustrated two-horned animals and they were overlapped. Whereby, one of the animals was said to be wild null and the other one interpreted as Barbary sheep. The bull featured long tail along with elaborated horns and sheep with humped shoulder and curvy horns.
This has small S-shaped motifs and they were 4 of them. They were found on the upper part of the right shoulder. One of the motifs represented batons that were used in ritual dance. These designs were present under the skin and the discovery revealed that this pigment was actually soot.
Earlier to this discovery, archaeologists assumed that only women wore tattoos at that time. But this discovery revealed that even males wore them. They also stated that maybe the tattoos were denoting bravery, status, and even magical knowledge.
Where Did They Find?
Gebelein is the place where mummies were found and this is present in Upper Egypt’s southern part. However, this is located 40 km from the Luxor, south of modern-day. These individuals were buried without any special preparations in the shallow graves. The natural preservation was the result of heat, aridity of the desert, and salinity.
Hence, through the radiocarbon results, discoverers stated that these people lived back in between 3351 and 3017 BC. This was the period shortly before the unification of this region by the first pharaoh around 3100 BC.
There is one more example of tattooing that was found on Ötzi, an Alpine mummy. This is said to be the oldest example of tattooing practice and the deceased had lived between 3370 – 3100 BC. But these are just horizontal and vertical lines of tattoos and there were no significant figures.