publication . Article . 2018

Natural mummies from Predynastic Egypt reveal the world's earliest figural tattoos

Renee Friedman; Daniel Antoine; Sahra Talamo; Paula J. Reimer; John H. Taylor; Barbara Wills; Marcello A. Mannino;
Open Access English
  • Published: 28 Feb 2018
Abstract The application of tattoos to the human body has enjoyed a long and diverse history in many ancient cultures. At present, the oldest surviving examples are the mainly geometric tattoos on the individual known as Otzi, dating to the late 4th millennium BCE, whose skin was preserved by the ice of the Tyrolean Alps. In the Egyptian Nile valley, the arid climate has also promoted extensive soft tissue preservation. Here we report on the tattoos found during the examination of two of the best preserved naturally mummified bodies from Egypt's Predynastic (c. 4000-3100 BCE) period, making them the earliest extant examples from the Nile Valley. Figural tattoos ...
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free text keywords: Tattoos Natural mummies Radiocarbon dating Egyptian predynastic art Infrared imaging Isotopic analysis, Archaeology, Circumstantial evidence, Extant taxon, Iceman, History, Ancient history, Prehistory, Radiocarbon dating, law.invention, law
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