From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ancient tattoos: Mummified messages

"Michael" in Hebrew  (Public Domain)
They say that the dead tell no tales, but a recently-excavated Sudanese mummy had this Christian message tattooed on the inner
thigh:  M-I-X-A-H-A (which, translated from Ancient Greek, means "Archangel Michael").

According to Megan Gannon of Live Science, this is far from the first mummified tattoo that archaeologists have discovered.  Body art was prevalent "in places like Peru, Egypt and the Philippines." 

Otzi the Iceman is not only the world's oldest mummy, but also sports "the world's oldest surviving tattoos."  This 5,300 year-old male corpse "was found frozen in the Alps in 1991."  His tattoos, "etched in soot around his joints," are thought to have been a therapeutic attempt.  (What?  No glucosamine back then?)

A much "younger" (a mere 2,500 years old) mummy was found in Siberia in 1993.  This frozen "body of a woman in her late 20s" had tattoos of "intricate animal motifs, abstract shapes and mythological creatures..."     


Copyright March 29, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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