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Ancient Sudanese Mummy has Christian Tattoo

It doesn’t say “WWJD” but a Christian tattoo on a 1300-year-old Sudanese mummy is still an exciting find.

Visitors to the upcoming “Ancient Lives: New Discoveries” exhibition on mummies at the British Museum will get a chance to view for the first time the mummified remains of a Sudanese woman found in 2005 along the banks of the Nile. She and seven other mummies were given CAT scans (computed tomography ) at London hospitals and those images, along with infrared reflectography and carbon dating, helped researchers create detailed images and analysis of what’s underneath their wrappings and sarcophagi.

Researchers prepare to perform CAT scan on mummy

Researchers prepare to perform CAT scan on mummy

One of the more interesting finds was a tattoo on the inner thigh of the right leg of a 20-to-35 woman who died in about AD 700 and lived in a Christian community in Sudan. The tattoo, faintly visible to the naked eye but visible in greater detail using infrared technology, spells out in ancient Greek the letters M-I-X-A-H-A or Michael and is a symbol of the Archangel Michael. It has been found in churches and on stone tablets but this is the first time in tattoo form.

Christian tattoo found on 1300-year-old Sudanese mummy

Christian tattoo found on 1300-year-old Sudanese mummy

More interesting discoveries about the tattooed lady and her mummified friends will be on display when the exhibit opens in May.

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  • Lyon25

    Is an inner thigh tat better or worse than a tramp stamp?

  • Jum1801

    Aaaaaand waiting for anti-Christian pushback claiming the tattoo is really a sign the deceased had sold her soul to Pazuzu, in 5, 4, 3…..