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Tattoos in Ancient Egypt

To colour their cheeks the Egyptians used red ochre in a base of fat or Gum-resin. Ochre may have been used as lipstick, and a scene in a papyrus now in Turing shows a woman painting her lips with a brush whilst holding a container in her hand. Henna was used as a colorant, as it is today. It was certainly used to color hair and perhaps also the palms of the hands , soles of the feet and nails, although it has been suggested that the henna-like stain i n these parts of mummies was caused by embalmers' materials. Tattooing was known and practiced by the ancient Egyptians , the earliest direct evident coming from the Middle Kingdom . Mummies of dancers and royal concubines have geometric designs tattooed on their chests, shoulders, armies, abdomens and thighs. In the new Kingdom, dancers, musicians and servants girls occasionally had a tiny representation of the god Bes tattooed on their thighs as a good-luck charm.


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