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World’s oldest tattooed woman discovered in the British Museum’s Ancient Egyptian mummy collection

Gebelein Woman tattoo

It’s believed the inked lady’s tattoos served some mystical or religious purpose (Photo: British Museum)

The earliest tattoos ever seen on a female body have been discovered in the British Museum.

A 5000-year-old Egyptian mummy has become the oldest tattooed woman in the world after scientists found strange motifs inked on her shoulders and arms.

She lived during the Predynastic period, an era before the first pharaoh united the nation in around 3100 BC.

The tattooed lady is known as Gebelein Woman and was found in Northern Egypt near the modern city of Luxor.

Researchers at the British Museum have also found the earliest figurative tattoos which depict figures rather than abtract patterns.

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