Anne Austin

Embodying the Goddess: Revealing the Practice of Tattooing in Ancient Egypt

This talk reviews the significance of tattooing in ancient Egypt through a systematic analysis of the placement, orientation, order, and symbolism of over 30 figural tattoos discovered on a mummy from Deir el-Medina. These tattoos created a permanent and public association of this woman with worship of the goddess Hathor, even allowing her body to be used as a potential vehicle for the goddess herself through the repeated motif of the divine Wadjet eyes. This mummy not only offers a unique and significant contribution to our understanding of the practice of tattooing, but also the potential roles of women in religious worship in ancient Egypt.

Anne Austin, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. Her research focuses on using human skeletal remains in conjunction with art and texts to understand ancient Egyptian culture.

Co-presented with the Archaeological Institute of America.

Free; advance tickets recommended. Click here for tickets.

Anne Austin