Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society

TO tattoo or not to tattoo…

On Saturday, March 6 Dr Anne Austin discussed the practice of tattooing.

She started with the view of the first Egyptologists that tattoos were found only on ladies of ill-repute.

This was based on the then very few known depictions of tattoos on tomb walls or specific funerary items that were thought to be of concubines for the tomb owner in his robust afterlife.

However, more recent discoveries and the use of infrared photography has revealed that many mummies (still mainly female) did have such decoration, where the depictions and their locations all had religious, ritual or protective significance.

The British Museum Predynastic burial, fondly known as “Ginger”, is now known to have tattoos of a bull and sheep on his arm, invisible to the many who have walked past his tomb display in the Egyptian Galleries.

The next lecture on Saturday, March 27 will be on Ramesses III, King of Egypt.

Non-members can register for any of the forthcoming Zoom events at the society’s website, www.tvaes.org.uk, a few days before the event, if places are available.

Francesca Jones

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