Hathor tattoo Egyptian designs tattooing ancient

Hathor and ancient Egyptian tattoos

Goddess Hathor, the strange cow featured deity of ancient Egypt, appears to also be linked to Egyptian tattoos.

Her artisan followers including both priests and priestess, and even little blue figurines linked to burial rituals which Hathor was an important part of, seem to display dots and patterns that could be tattooed.

Hathor tattoo Egyptian designs tattooing ancientThe most famous of these tattooed mummies is Amunet, Priestess of the Goddess Hathor. The mummy of Amunet was discovered in 1891 by the French Egyptologist Eugène Grébaut and from all accounts the tattoos were seen as quite sensual, of course at this time curved table legs were also considered sensual so one must view their reaction in context to their Victorian morays.

… Amunet’s tattoos were located on her superior pubic region covering the lower part of her abdomen, on her mid frontal torso and directly inferior to her right breast. She also has tattoos superior to her elbow joint and on her left shoulder as well as on her thighs. Most of these tattoos are in the form of dashes, and dots and some form concentric circles on her abdomen.
The Tattooed Priestesses of Hathor | Ancient Origins

Why would dots, lines of dots and tattoo patterns be associated with Hathor? What was Hathor?

A tattoo normally is designed to be easily recognised and understood by those who are looking at the design. Were dots, lines and patterns physically and visually associated with Hathor by all the peoples of ancient pharaonic Egypt?

Some other countries gods statues being displayed suckling their or other animals young, the same as Hathor or Hathor imagery inspired by them, also have the mysterious transparent skirt around their pubic area. Is this another version of the Hathor tattoo patterns around the groin?

Hathor Isis suckling animal godsTattooing practice in ancient Egypt is further supported by the discovery of a number of tattooed mummies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The most famous of these was discovered in Deir el-Bahari by French Egyptologist Eugène Grébaut in 1891. Dating from Dynasty XI (c.2134-1991 BC), a female mummy identified as Amunet, a Priestess of the goddess Hathor at Thebes, was found to have a number of tattooed markings on her body, which show striking correspondence with the patterns depicted on Middle Kingdom faience figurines. A design consisting of multiple diamond shapes composed of dots, are tattooed on the middle of her right thigh, similar to those engraved on the faience figure. As well as tattoos on her left shoulder and breast, and on her right arm below the elbow, Amunet also bore extensive tattooing over her abdomen: A series of dots and dashes forming an elliptical pattern of rows covers almost the entire abdominal wall in the suprapubic region.

A further 2 female mummies, described as ‘Hathoric dancers in the court of King Mentuhotep,’ were excavated from pits located very near to the tomb of Amunet in 1923. These women both bore similar body-markings to those of Amunet, in particular over the abdomen, which may suggest that these tattoos served fertility purposes:

Tattoos on the abdominal part of the female body would have become particularly notable when the woman became pregnant – the patterns would expand, forming an even more symbolically interesting pattern, like a web or netting design.
Tattooing in Ancient Egypt Part 2: The Mummy of Amunet | University College London

Tattooed Egyptian Brides of the Dead

A couple of little blue statues seem to also be decorated or display Egyptian tattoo patterns. These are known as Brides of the Dead and related to the bovine goddess Hathor and her part in the death and afterlife rituals of ancient Egypt’s people and God King Pharaohs.

Faience figurines dating from the Middle Kingdom traditionally known as Brides of the Dead, frequently display a series of dotted geometric tattoo patterns, running in horizontal bands across the lower abdomen. Occasionally, the thighs are also decorated
Tattooing in Ancient Egypt Part 2: The Mummy of Amunet | University College London

Goddess Hathor tattoo blue statues tattooed brides of the deadlate 19th century when several tattooed female mummies were discovered. Before this discovery only pictures in tombs and on pottery were the best evidence that some Egyptians were tattooed. Previously tiny faience female figurines showing tattoo patterns on their thighs, wrists, abdomen, and upper body had been discovered in tombs and the tattoos on the newly discovered mummies were in many instances almost identical to the figurines. Suddenly it became obvious that the tiny figurines were actually depicting real tattoos and their meanings could be directly traced to the priestess’ of Hathor

The figurines were found in both male and female burials but only female tattooed mummies were found.
The Tattooed Priestesses of Hathor | Ancient Origins

two small blue faience figurines. Both of these objects depict nude female figures with black glazed decoration – one is broken at the waist, with only the lower portion of the torso preserved (object no. UC16724). The second figure is intact, with black detail indicating hair and what are assumed to be beads around her neck.

Both figures are also decorated with a series of dotted lines across the abdomen, which are thought to represent tattoo markings. These markings bear striking similarity to tattoos found on ancient female mummies
Tattooing in Ancient Egypt | University College London