Infrared Images Show Hidden Tattoos On Egyptian Mummies

SAN DIEGO – Modern technology is emitting tattoos on ancient Egyptians that were unnoticed until now.


Infrared photography has helped identify tattoos at least 3,000 years ago, at the site of the University of Missouri-St archaeologist Ann Austin at the site of Deir al-Madina. Louis reported at the Annual Meeting of Oriental Research for American Schools November 22. Although the identity of these tattooed people is unknown, artisans and artisans in the late al-Madina built and decorated royal tombs in the Quraish highway and the valley adjoining the valley.

Until the discovery of Al-Madinah, tattoos were found on only six donkeys during more than a century of research on ancient Egyptian sites. But infrared images, which show the wavelengths of light invisible to the naked eye, are changing what is known about tattooing in ancient Egypt, Austin said.

When Austin, along with his colleagues, examined mummies in 2016 and 2019, this research was done while Austin was working, “Austin said,” It’s so local and magical to work in an ancient tomb. See tattoos on a potential person using sudden infrared photography with the French Institute of Oriental Archeology in Cairo.

The design and placement of tattoos vary significantly from the Egyptian 13 moms to 12 women and one male. A female mother found in 1891 produces the first tattoo from ancient Egypt. Recently, archaeologist Renée Friedman of Oxford University, England, used infrared imaging to display a symbol on a male and an Egyptian mummy housed in the British Museum in London (SN: 3 / 9/18) They lived in Egypt some 5,100 years ago, sometime before the rise of the first Pharaoh.

A 5,250-year-old ancient body of Iceman found in the Italian Alps shows the famous old tattoo (SN: 1/13/16).

Only women with tattoos have been identified in late T Medina. Discoveries there have challenged an old idea that tattoos have committed fertility and sex in women in ancient Egypt. Dermody tattoos have more to do with women’s roles, Austin said.

In the most unusual case, infrared images showed 30 tattoos on different parts of the female mummy. Austin said patterns of various shapes on his arms are not found in other dozen tattooed mums. Many of his other tattoos look like hieroglyphs used in ancient Egyptian writing. Austen believes that the extent and extent of physical trauma on this woman suggests that she maybe some kind of religious practitioner.

Another Deir al-Ladina woman had a tattoo on her neck that depicted the human eye – an ancient Egyptian symbol associated with protection. Plus there are tattoos of baboons sitting around her neck.

“I don’t see any plausible pattern in the tattoos I’ve found so far,” Austin said.

Discovery of tattoos on additional Egyptian moms can help researchers discover how these marks were used. “Everything about new tattoo discoveries is amazing because there is so little information about this ancient Egyptian practice,” said Keri Mahlstein, an Egyptian specialist at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.


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