Tattooed Bodies in ancient Egypt and Nubia

- Jeudi 25 janvier 2018 de 16h à 18h
Conférence et vidéo conférence de Luc Renaut, Université de Grenoble
Sur place au CNRS d’Ivry sur Seine, 27 rue Paul Bert, métro Porte de Choisy/Porte d’Ivry, salle C en sous-sol
ou à distance par vidéo-conférence

Cette conférence est la 15e séance mensuelle du séminaire interdisciplinaire :
“The Individual and his Body in the Ancient Mediterranean Basin” organisé par Alice Mouton.

Résumé : In the urbanized States of the Ancient Mediterranean Basin, free men and women never had to be tattooed. In surrounding areas, however, tattooing was deeply rooted and institutionnalised among quite a significant number of human groups or tribes. In this regard, a remarkable case study is provided by Ancient Nubia and Egypt, two contrasted but intertwined neighbouring cultures that offer a vivid picture recently enhanced by new discoveries. Even now, specialists do not agree on the interpretation of the various archaeological and anthropological remains related to tattoo practices. I propose to clarify the issue in identifying two major types : a first one, customary tattooing, which tends to cover the skin surface with replicated geometrical patterns, and a second one, sub-cultural tattooing, characterized by more isolated pictographic designs. Through the study of these two tattooing practices, it will be shown that, in ancient States of the Mediterranean Basin, the legal authorities never considered human skin to be a suitable material for registering positive rights and privileges.

avec le soutien du Labex RESMED