AIA Lecture - Embodying the Goddess: Revealing the practice of tattooing in ancient Egypt

Lecture | February 21 | 7 p.m. | 370 Dwinelle Hall

 Anne Austin, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Egyptology, Stanford University

 AIA San Francisco Society

While tattooing is an increasingly popular topic of study, it is rarely discussed in the past owing to the infrequent identification of tattoos in human remains. This is particularly true in dynastic Egypt, where physical evidence of tattooing is limited to a set of three female Middle Kingdom mummies discovered nearly a century ago. However, during the recent research with the mission of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale at Deir el-Medina, our team identified the first and only mummy to have Egyptian figural tattoos, with over 30 separate tattoos placed along the arms, neck, back, and shoulders. This talk presents the discovery and study of this fascinating mummy and her tattoos. Analysis of these tattoos not only reveals an Egyptian practice of tattooing, but also provides new evidence for the roles of women in religious practice during the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BCE).