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A History Of Tattoos


The history of tattoo goes back over 5000 years, though it is not known as to when tattooing really began. The oldest tattoo was discovered in 1991 on a 5,300 year old mummy, known as Oetzi, an Iceman. Interestingly, the tattoos on the body of this mummy comprised of horizontal and vertical lines, believed to have been done for medicinal purposes. The body had 57 tattoos in all, located over the various joints. These are the very same sites that are used for acupuncture these days, and it appears that the mummy underwent such treatment to get relief from joint pains.


Before the mummy of Oetzi was found in 1991, the Russians discovered bodies in an excavation which are believed to be 2,400 years old. These bodies were found in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, and it was found that instead of the horizontal and vertical lines as found on Oetzi, the tattoos were in the form of animals, both in the real and imaginary forms. Some of these were meant to be decorative, while the others appeared to be symbols of status rank. Tattoos are generally created in the body by inserting colors under the surface of the skin, and it is believed that the earliest tattoo was created by accident. A wound could have been rubbed by hand which was dirty with soot and ashes, and when the wound dried up it left a permanent mark.

The Egyptians are considered to be a race having well known culture for tattoos. Discoveries dating back 2100 BC have revealed mummies which have been covered with tattoos. The tattoos have been found to be a sort of body markings which are thought to be some sort of ritual symbols. It was observed that, the tattoos the women had were specifically meant for women only, and these tattoo designs were mainly lines with dots all around the body.


Excavators found that the first Japanese tattoos appeared on clay figures. These were the figures which were made to express an image of the deceased, and these were found in the tombs of the persons who passed away. The tattoos were found to be curved or painted on the face of the figures and resembled makings which have religious or magical significance. The tombs in which the figures were found is said to be dated back to 3000 BC. The Japanese tattoos that were first taken into record dated back as far as 297 BC and the tattoos have been found to be used for decorative purposes only.

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