(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the University of Missouri in St. Louis have deciphered the meaning of tattoos on the bodies of Egyptian mummified women.
In the 1920s, archaeologists discovered the ancient city of Deir el-Medina, located near the bed of the Nile. Two mummies of women with tattoos on their lower backs were seized from the burials of this year.
When examining the skin of the first mummy, which was found without bandages, the researchers found tattoos on her lower back depicting bowls, a purification ritual and an image of Bes.
This is an Egyptian god whose role was to protect women and children, especially during childbirth.
The second mummy was better preserved and was wrapped in funeral bandages. Researchers studied her remains using infrared photographs.
The analysis showed that this middle-aged woman also had a tattoo of a wadjet (an ancient Egyptian symbol, the left hawk eye of the god Horus) and Bes on her skin.
The researchers suggest that both tattoos represent a request by those who wear them for protection during childbirth.
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