British Museum research reveals tattoos on 5,000 year old mummies from Egypt

The world’s earliest figural tattoos have been revealed on two natural mummies in the British Museum’s collection. Dating to between 3351 to 3017 BC (95.4% probability), figural tattoos of a wild bull and a Barbary sheep were identified on the upper arm of a male mummy and linear and S-shaped motifs have been identified on the upper arm and shoulder of a female mummy; the oldest tattoos ever found on a female body. The findings will be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science on Thursday 1st March 2018. Entitled: Natural mummies from Predynastic Egypt reveal the world’s earliest figural tattoos. Daniel Antoine, one of the lead authors of the research paper and the British Museum’s Curator of Physical Anthropology said ‘The use of the latest scientific methods, including CT scanning, radiocarbon dating and infrared imaging, has transformed our understanding of the Gebelein mummies. Only now ar