A new exhibition at the British Museum, Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia, will feature real tattooed human skin that dates back over 2,500 years.
Scythians were exceptional warriors and horsemen who formed powerful tribes. They thrived in a vast landscape that stretched from southern Russia to China and the northern Black Sea.
The exhibition will feature many objects from 900 -200 BC and it will be the first major exhibit to explore the Scythians in the UK in 40 years.
Tattooing was undoubtedly common amongst this ancient civilisation. All of the frozen Scythian bodies that have been examined by experts so far, often from different sites, have been heavily tattooed. The designs cover the arms, legs and upper torsos and the imagery includes mythical animals in combat, rows of birds and simple dot-work.
Painted clay death masks are also on display as part of the exhibition – these were decorated to represent the tattooed faces of the deceased.
Visit London’s British Museum between 14 September 2017 and 14 January 2018 to discover, not just one of the most ancient forms of tattooing, but the influence of one of the earliest civilisations in the world.
Tickets are £16.50, children under 16 go free, and concessions and group rates available.
Find out more about the exhibition at britishmuseum.org
Call-out for artists:
I’m looking for tattooists with a knowledge of, or interest in, Scythian tattoos to collaborate with me and the British Museum on a project for this exhibition. Interested? Email: email@example.com