Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tattooing In Prehistoric Times

Tattooing is basically a body art, through which people accentuate and enhance the look of the body. Though quite common in the present times, did you know that this body art has its roots firmly laid to the prehistoric era? Surprised!! Tattooing has a history that goes back, till the Neolithic ages. An age old practice, people from various cultures would flaunt tattoos on their body for different reasons, even during those times. This can be proven from the fact that the different mummified bodies, which were discovered in the recent years, also had traces of tattoos in them. In the primitive age, tattoos were drawn on parts of body for mainly for therapeutic measures. It is known that tattooing was basically used, as a treatment for people suffering from rheumatism or arthritis. Apart from medicinal purpose, tattoos were also impressed on the body for spiritual reasons. 

Tattooing In Prehistoric Era
In prehistoric times, tattooing was prevalent in many lands. Tattooing has been a Eurasian practice, since Neolithic times. The first mummy that was discovered with prehistoric tattoos, all over his body, dates back to the 3300 B. C. Named 'Otzi the Iceman', his body was extensively covered with therapeutic tattoo. In totality, his body bore 57 tattoos, in different parts - a cross on the inside of the left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys and numerous small parallel lines along the lumbar, legs and the ankles. In the Steppes, other natural mummies up to 7000 years old have been found to have tattoos. 

The Tarim Basin in the Western part of China, Xingjian Province also revealed several tattooed mummies of a European physical type. Though relatively unknown, the mummies found in the region could date from the end of the 2nd millennium BC. It will be surprising for you to know that the tattoos revealed during this age were very different from each other. As per historical records, the mummies are known to have a western physical form. Three tattooed mummies (dated back to the 300 BC) were extracted from the permafrost of Altai Mountains in second half of the 20th century.

There were three mummies - one female and two males. Their tattooing involved animal designs repertory. The designing was carried out in a curvilinear style, to make the tattoo look fascinating and appealing. The Man of Pazyryk (the Scythian chief) discovered in Russia, was also tattooed with therapeutic dots lined up along the spinal column (lumbar region) and around the right ankle. Tattoos from different ages revealed some interesting and exciting facts. Much credit is given to the tattoos, as it was because of them that historians were able to attain information about the Neolithic ages.

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