Tattooed Mummies

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Tattoos on the arms of a Peruvian mummy (age/era unknown).
While easy to obtain on the open market, these are almost always grave-robbed.

Tattooed Mummies have been found in several locations across the world. Considering that both mummification (either natural or deliberate) and tattooing are global phenomena, it is actually quite surprising that more instances are not known.

The most impressive examples of tattooed mummies have come from the Pazyryk and Scythian burial mounds of Siberia. Greenland and Egypt have also produced tattooed mummies, with another discovered in a glacier in the Alps.

In May 2006, a female mummy from the South American Moche culture was found in a ceremonial burial site in Peru. She has tattoo coverage on both arms and other areas of her body.

Other cases of tattooed mummies do exist, but they are either poorly documented (the Tarim Mummies in China) or evidence of tattooing is inconclusive at best (Lindow Man, a bog body).

See Also