What Was The First Tattoo Ever?

What Was The First Tattoo Ever

Fred Verhoeven You might not think the sullen, tattooed teenager skulking around your local record store has anything in common with Winston Churchill, but you would be wrong. Sir Winston, King George V, and the slaves of ancient Greece—to name a few—all have their place in the colorful history of skin decoration. For a practice so commonly associated with youth, tattooing is remarkably old, says professor Nina Jablonski, head of Penn State’s anthropology department and author of Skin: A Natural History.

“Tattoos have probably been important to people for over 10,000 years,” she notes. The oldest documented tattoos belong to Otzi the Iceman, whose preserved body was discovered in the Alps between Austria and Italy in 1991.

He died around 3300 B. , says Jablonski, but the practice of inserting pigment under the skin’s surface originated long before Otzi. In Japan, tattooing is thought to go back to the Paleolithic era, and tattooed Egyptian mummies—primarily female—have been uncovered dating to the age of the pyramids.

  1. In 1948, the excavation of Siberian tombs revealed bodies over 2,000 years old decorated with tattoos of animals and mythical beasts;
  2. Egypt’s international trade spread the practice of tattooing to Crete, Greece, and Arabia, and there is a history of tattooing in ancient China, as well as among Celtic and Northern European tribes, such as the Picts—literally “painted people”—and in Samoa and the Polynesian islands, where the word “tatou” originated;

In fact, Jablonski explains, tattooing is as widespread as it is ancient, popping up on every inhabited continent. With the rise of Christianity, tattooing became increasingly associated with paganism and the criminal class, and was prohibited in Europe under the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine.

  • In the late eighteenth century, the practice of tattooing became popular among British sailors around the time of Captain James Cook’s voyages to Tahiti, and for a time, tattoos were present in the western world mostly on the bodies of seamen returning from the South Pacific;

But the art form experienced a resurgence among the British gentry after King George V and later Edward VII were tattooed (with a dragon and a cross, respectively), and foreign courts followed the British Court’s lead, sparking a rash of tattooed royalty during the nineteenth century.

  1. According to Jablonski, “Tattoos become more socially acceptable because they are visibly sported by people who are themselves socially accepted;
  2. ” “People’s reasons for tattooing have varied from place to place,” she adds, “but their central purpose in all places and throughout time has been to convey a message of great significance through a visible symbol;

” In the Middle East, mourners rubbed the ash from funeral pyres into self-inflicted wounds, thereby carrying a piece of the departed with them forever. Tattoos have long been used as a means of identification: The Romans tattooed their criminals and slaves, a practice that was adopted by the Japanese in the early 17 th century, and the Nazis tattooed numbers on the arms of Jews during the Holocaust to dehumanize concentration camp inmates and identify their corpses.

Despite these grim uses, people today primarily use tattoos to tell their personal stories, as talismans, or to memorialize a loved one. “Their permanence is their allure,” Jablonski explains. Today, actor Brad Pitt has an image of Otzi the Iceman tattooed on his arm, and the adoption of the practice by movie stars and sports personalities has taken some of the taboo out of the tattoo.

Still, says Jablonski, tattooing retains its reputation as a subculture identifier, though young people are more likely to view tattoos as just another form of self-expression. Tattoos have never been as varied in content and design as they are now. Observes Jablonski, “Classic tattoos will always have a place, but people are increasingly using their bodies to create landscape/bodyscape effects.

” Whatever the direction it takes, tattooing is here to stay. “Tattoos are part of an ancient and universal tradition of human self-decoration and expression,” she concludes. “They convey their messages without words and sometimes even long after death.

” Diamonds may be lost or stolen—it’s a tattoo that is forever. Nina Jablonski, Ph. , is professor and head of anthropology in the College of the Liberal Arts, [email protected] edu. Skin: A Natural History was published in October 2006 by University of California Press..

Who got the first tattoo in the world?

The oldest discovery of tattooed human skin to date is found on the body of Ötzi the Iceman, dating to between 3370 and 3100 BC.

What is the oldest tattoo style?

The earliest evidence of tattooing was found on 5,000-year-old mummies – The earliest indisputable evidence for tattooing are mummified remains. The oldest tattoos in the world were found on   ancient Egyptian mummies   with tiny designs inked onto their biceps.

What was the first ink tattoo?

The oldest evidence of tattoos dates back to 3370 BC. If we’re measuring from the present day, that’s 5,390 years ago. Yes, that’s a whopping 3,370 years before Christ was born.

Why is tattoo a sin?

Sunni Islam [ edit ] – The majority of Sunni Muslims believe tattooing is a sin, because it involves changing the natural creation of God, inflicting unnecessary pain in the process. Tattoos are classified as dirty things, which is prohibited in Islam.

  • They believe that a dirty body will directly lead to a dirty mind and will destroy their wudhu, ritual ablution;
  • [24] Some Shafi’i scholars such as Amjad Rasheed argue that tattooing causes impurity and that tattoos were prohibited by the Prophet Muhammad;

They also claim that those who are decorated with tattoos are contaminated with najas , [25] due to potential mixture of blood and coloured pigment that remains upon the surface of the skin. [26] Blood is viewed as an impure substance, so a person with a tattoo cannot engage in several religious practices.

[27] However, in the present day, it is possible to get a tattoo without mixing dye with blood after it exits onto the outer surface of the body, leaving a possibility for a Muslim to wear a tattoo and perform a valid prayer.

Scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi states that tattoos are sinful because they are an expression of vanity and they alter the physical creation of God. [28] According to the online South African Deobandi fatwa service called Ask-the-Imam , Muslims should remove any tattoos they have if possible or cover them in some way.

What does the Bible say about tattoos?

Tattoos have been around for millennia. People got them at least five thousand years ago. Today they’re common everywhere from Maori communities in New Zealand to office parks in Ohio. But in the ancient Middle East, the writers of the Hebrew Bible forbade tattooing.

  • Per Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves;
  • ” Historically, scholars have often understood this as a warning against pagan practices of mourning;

But language scholar John Huehnergard and ancient-Israel expert Harold Liebowitz  argue that tattooing was understood differently in ancient times. Huehnergard and Liebowitz note that the appearance of the ban on incisions—or tattoos—comes right after words clearly related to mourning, perhaps confirming the original theory.

  1. And yet, looking at what’s known about death rituals in ancient Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel, and Egypt, they find no references to marking the skin as a sign of mourning;
  2. They also note that there are other examples in Leviticus and Exodus where two halves of a verse address different issues;

So that could be the case here, too. What tattoos were apparently often used for in ancient Mesopotamia was marking enslaved people (and, in Egypt, as decorations for women of all social classes). Egyptian captives were branded with the name of a god, marking them as belongings of the priests or pharaoh.

But devotees might also be branded with the name of the god they worshiped. Huehnergard and Liebowitz suggest that, given the key role of the escape from Egyptian bondage in ancient Jewish law, the Torah originally banned tattooing because it was “the symbol of servitude.

” Interestingly, though, they write that there’s one other apparent reference to tattooing in the Hebrew Bible. Isaiah 44:5 describes the children of Jacob committing themselves to God: “One shall say, ‘I am the LORD’s’… Another shall mark his arm ‘of the LORD.

  1. ‘” Here a tattoo appears to be allowable as a sign of submission, not to a human master but to God;
  2. Ancient rabbinic debates produced a variety of different theories about the meaning of the prohibition on tattooing;

Some authorities believed that tattoos were only disallowed if they had certain messages, such as the name of God, the phrase “I am the Lord,” or the name of a pagan deity. Talmudic law developed around 200 CE says that a tattoo is only disallowed if it is done “for the purpose of idolatry”—but not if it’s intended to mark a person’s enslaved status.

Do tattoos shorten your life?

the MPR take: – Having a tattoo may mean an earlier death, says a new report in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology. Investigators compared the deaths of people with and without tattoos and found that people with tattoos appeared to die earlier than people without (mean age of death: tattooed: 39yrs; nontattooed: 53yrs).

Why do humans get tattoos?

Body art, body bling, self-graffiti, walking billboards, fashionable ink accessories. Each of these expressions depict the physical nature of the tattoo. What’s often NOT discussed, however, is the emotional side of tattoos. I vividly remember the first time I saw a “tramp stamp.

  1. ” A woman was reaching for something in the front row of a large auditorium and a few rows of men and women witnessed her walking artistry;
  2. Everyone had a reaction;
  3. And once she left the room, we all talked about it;

It was like group therapy. The responses ranged from “She’s definitely a party girl, probably drinks a lot, has a lot of sex and a rough childhood,” to “She’s probably really creative, edgy, a leader and an independent thinker. ” Some liked her more, some liked her less and many guys were more interested in her because of the tattoo.

Whatever the response, we were all intrigued, and each of us conjured up our own personal version of her story — all from the sight of a well-placed tattoo. In those days, tattoos were still controversial.

Now, they’re more accepted than ever. You could even call them “trendy. ” In the nightlife scene, tattoo artists are rapidly becoming a popular career choice. Sooner or later, we’re going to see a leather-clad, tattoo-sleeved, multi-pierced guy named Rocko at our kid’s career fair standing next to the “Be a DJ” booth.

Although tattoos have been around for more than 5,000 years (Egyptians used tattoos to differentiate peasants from slaves and social branding has been around a long time), ink art has really exploded in the last 25 years.

[1] Is it social branding? Tattoos are a conversation starter. Either there’s a story attached or a “skin”-showing session or an emotional response derived from the sight of ink art. And the emotional response from the sight of tattoos leads to a modern-day version of social branding.

“He must be tough. ” “She’s probably easy. ” “He’ll never get a corporate job. ” “She just wants to drink vodka tonics and dance on a speaker. ” Of course there are variables. In my opinion, the older you are, the less chance you’ll be forgiving of tattoos.

Neck and face tattoos are usually not as well-received as other locations no matter what your age (sorry, Big Mike). Where you put the tattoo, how may tattoos you have, what the tattoos is and the size of the tattoos all help shape the emotional response of the viewer.

  1. And that observer could be anyone from a potential boss, a family member or a date;
  2. You’re incredibly naïve or in total denial if you think your tattoos aren’t going to have a significant positive or negative influence on people who don’t know you well;

Why Get Tattoos? People get tattoos for many reasons: for attention, self-expression, artistic freedom, rebellion, a visual display of a personal narrative, reminders of spiritual/cultural traditions, sexual motivation, addiction, identification with a group or even drunken impulsiveness (which is why many tattoo parlors are open late).

  1. And now, according to some research studies , 15-38 percent of Americans have some type of long-term body art;
  2. What was once considered self-mutilatory behavior and a psychiatric problem has now become almost normative behavior;

What Does Your Tattoo Mean? Some people mark themselves for life to remind them of past family members or ancient sayings or religious scriptures or names of their current family/love interest. Other people use tattoos to enhance their sexual prowess or feed their exhibitionist side, and many people use tattoos to visually promote their identity and/or group affiliation. Research on tattoos reveals some interesting findings:

  • Adults with tattoos have been shown to be more sexually active than controls without tattoos.
  • People with tattoos have been shown to be more likely to engage in more higher risk behaviors.
  • Women who get tattoos are more than twice as likely to get them removed as men.
  • In studying first impressions of people that have tattoos, researchers have found that avatars (neutral) with tattoos and other body modifications were rated as more likely to be thrill and adventure seekers, to have a higher number of previous sexual partners, and to be less inhibited than non-tattooed avatars. This study looked at general stigma associated with people sporting tattoos.
  • And another study showed both men and women had higher body appreciation, higher self esteem and lower anxiety right after getting new tattoos. Surprisingly, three weeks later men continued to have less anxiety but women had a sharp increase in anxiety that may be associated with concerns about body image.
  • And I’ve personally seen tattoo markings used as an endorphin release and substitute for addictive behavior. An individual addicted to pills was able to stop popping pills but then subsequently became addicted to getting body ink. So what does this mean? Our current society craves individuality and self expression. And now many people wear their artistic expression.

    • “I stand for;
    • ” Johnny Depp said, “My body is my journal and my tattoos are my story;
    • ” Tattoos can visually reveal more about you or distract people from getting to know the real you;
    • Some people hide behind their tattoos;
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    We are having more trouble communicating with each other than ever before, as electronic communication will never replace face-to-face human contact. So, it’s not surprising that there’s a growing trend toward communication via body ink. We don’t have to talk, we just have to look.

    Our bodies have become the refrigerator magnets of quotes, sayings and reminders. Whether you like it or not, tattoos are growing in popularity. The long-term fear of being “marked for life” is being tempered by tattoo removal technology and people getting used to seeing tattoos.

    Personally, I chose not to have a tattoo (henna tattoos don’t count) because the beauty of life is that it’s unexpected and we change with our experiences. What we stand for and believe in at 18 is very different than 35 or 60. If we stood for one thing in life and it never changed, then we could all have “life script” tattoos (and face boredom on a regular basis).

    But we do grow and change. I appreciate the artistry of tattoos but also enjoy the mystery of learning about someone without being “visually influenced” to have a response. We all judge, and first impressions probably carry more weight than they should.

    Whatever your feelings are about tattoos, one thing is for sure: There’s definitely more than meets the eye. Reference: 1. Caplan J. (Ed). 2000. Written on the Body: The Tattoo in European & American History; Princeton N. , Princeton University Press For more by Reef Karim, D.

    Where do tattoos come from?

    On a fall day in 1991, two Germans hiking in the Alps near the Italian- Austrian border stumbled across what they initially believed to be a modern corpse frozen in the ice. Once the body was retrieved however, authorities discovered that it was anything but modern.

    • The mummy, nicknamed Ötzi after the valley where it was found, had survived in the ice to the ripe, old age of 5,300 years;
    • Analysis of the remains showed that when Ötzi died, he was a 30 to 45 year old man, standing roughly 160 cm tall;

    Mystery surrounds the exact circumstances of Ötzi’s death, although evidence suggests a violent end. That, however, is not the only secret Ötzi hides. Ötzi has over fifty lines and crosses tattooed onto his body – the earliest known evidence of tattooing in the world – most of them on his spine, knee and ankle joints.

    The locations of many of the markings are consistent with traditional Chinese acupuncture points, specifically those that are used to treat back pain and stomach upset. What is intriguing is that Ötzi lived roughly 2,000 years before the oldest generally accepted evidence of acupuncture, and well west of its purported origins in China.

    X-rays revealed that Ötzi had arthritis in his hip joint, knees, ankles and spine; forensic analysis discovered evidence of whipworm eggs – known to cause severe abdominal pain – in Ötzi’s stomach. It is, therefore, possible that Ötzi’s tattoos did in fact play a therapeutic role, and that acupuncture has a slightly more complicated history than previously believed.

    • Before Ötzi poked his head through the ice, the earliest conclusive evidence of tattoos came from a handful of Egyptian mummies that date to the time of the construction of the great pyramids over 4,000 years ago;

    Indirect archaeological evidence (i. statuettes with engraved designs that are occasionally associated with needles and clay discs containing ochre) suggests that the practice of tattooing may actually be much older and more widespread than the mummies would have us believe.

    1. Ethnographic and historical texts reveal that tattooing has been practiced by just about every human culture in historic times;
    2. The ancient Greeks used tattoos from the 5th century on to communicate among spies; later, the Romans marked criminals and slaves with tattoos;

    In Japan, criminals were tattooed with a single line across their forehead for a first offence; for the second offence an arch was added, and finally, for the third offence, another line was tattooed which completed the symbol for “dog”: the original three strikes and you’re out!  Evidence suggests that the Maya, Inca and Aztec used tattooing in rituals, and that the early Britons used tattoos in certain ceremonies.

    The Danes, Norse and Saxons are known to have tattooed family crests onto their bodies. During the crusades, some Europeans tattooed a cross on their hands or arms to mark their participation and indicate their desire for a Christian burial should they not return.

    From the Tahitian “tatau” which means to mark or strike, the word tattoo refers to some of the traditional modes of application where ink is “tapped” into the skin by using sharp sticks or bone. Certain peoples in the Arctic however, have used a needle to pull carbon-embedded thread under the skin to create linear designs.

    • And still others have traditionally cut designs into the skin and then rubbed the incisions with ink or ashes;
    • Modern electric tattoo machines are modeled on the one patented by New York tattoo artist Samuel O’Reilly in 1891, which itself is only slightly different from Thomas Edison’s electric engraver pen, patented in 1876;

    The needles of a modern machine move up and down at a rate of between 50- 3000 vibrations per minute; they penetrate only about 1 mm below the surface of the skin to deliver pigments. Our bodies treat the injected pigments as non-toxic foreign elements that need to be contained.

    So, certain types of cells in our bodies engulf the minute amounts of pigment. Once full, they move poorly and become relatively fixed in the connective tissue of the dermis, which is why tattoo designs do not generally change with time.

    A pigment’s molecules are actually colorless. Those molecules though, are arranged into crystals in various ways such that colors are produced when light refracts off of them. The pigments that are used in tattoos are often made of metal salts, which are metals that have reacted with oxygen; this process is called oxidation and is exemplified by rusting iron.

    The pigment is held in a carrier solution to disinfect the pigments by inhibiting the growth of pathogens, to keep it evenly mixed and to facilitate its application. Most modern pigments are carried by alcohols, specifically methyl or ethyl alcohols, which are the simplest and most commonly used types.

    The popularity of tattoos has continuously risen and fallen through time. Currently, the practice of tattooing is booming, and it is estimated that roughly one in every seven people in N. America – over 39 million people total – have at least one tattoo. Through time and around the world, the reasons for getting tattoos are numerous and varied.

    They include religious purposes, for protection or as a source of power, as an indication of group membership, as a status symbol, as an artistic expression, for permanent cosmetics, and as an adjunct to reconstructive surgery.

    And now, a new reason can be added to the list: Andrew Fisher, an American webpage designer, recently auctioned his forehead as ad space on eBay. It sold for over $37,000 and left Andrew with a snoring remedy logo tattooed (semi- permanently) on his head for a month.

    When was the first colored tattoo?

    The first colour tattoos didn’t actually come around until after the ancient Egyptians were tattooing. The ancient Inuit people were believed to have colors in their tattoos, specifically including a dark yellow color.

    What verse is do not tattoo?

    The Bible warns against tattoos in Leviticus 19:28 (Amplified) which says, ‘Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

    What were the original tattoo colors?

    It’s hard to imagine how inserting ink into the skin even came about but historians have evidence that it dates back more than 30 000 years ago with the discovery of ancient clay statues with marking running the length of their bodies. Definite proof of tattoos adorning a human body only appeared on a mummy found in 1991 that dates back 5 200 years.

    Small groups around the world have been discovered to have started using tattoos as a way of identifying an individual’s class, religious sect or property. They have also found that certain cultures used tattoos as a healing practice or as protection rituals.

    The first pigment to be created was black. The compositions of these early inks vary a bit but most remained similar in that they used soot and charcoal as the primary pigment. Later colours arrived including red, brown and yellow. Historians believe that these first colours were made using mostly minerals along with plants and animal parts.

    What tattoo means killing someone?

    Teardrop – What does a teardrop tattoo mean? Easily one of the most popular prison tattoos in popular culture, the teardrop tattoo actually has a less innocent meaning behind it. The meaning of teardrop tattoos can vary depending on the geography, but they all have the same premise: it symbolizes murder.

    1. A teardrop tattoo on the face means that the person has committed murder;
    2. A teardrop outline represents attempted murder, but it could also mean that the person has a friend who was murdered and that they are now currently seeking vengeance;

    A filled in teardrop means a death has been avenged. If someone’s initials have been placed in the tear, it could be the name of that person who died. Other sources also indicate that a tear tattoo could mean remorse; one teardrop under the eye serves as a reminder to the person of a mistake. In some prisons, the meaning of teardrop tattoos differs depending on which side it is on. A teardrop tattoo on the left eye means that the person murdered someone in jail, and a teardrop tattoo on the right eye means the person lost a family or gang member to murder. In recent years, it’s become an extremely popular tattoo for rappers and celebrities in an effort to play up their “gangster” image.

    1. Another, less popular symbolism for this prison tattoo is solidarity or support;
    2. An example could be the late Amy Winehouse’s ink, which the singer got soon after her husband Blake Fielder-Civil was sent to jail for perverting the course of justice;

    The most recognizable name being Lil’ Wayne. Why does the rapper have four teardrop tattoos? The tatts reportedly symbolize the four loved ones he’s lost. Tear tattoos aren’t just done under the eyes. You can also find them on fingers. What is the meaning of a teardrop tattoo on a finger? It could mean dealing with a personal struggle.

    Did Jesus have a wife?

    ‘ Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim,’ King said in a press release.

    Can you pray with a tattoo?

    What Was The First Tattoo Ever “I can finally get a tattoo,” the thought popped in head the day my visit to America was confirmed. For those who aren’t aware, tattoos are considered haram (forbidden) in Islam. There is no specific Islamic verse outlining this point but many people believe wudu (the purification ritual) cannot be completed if you have a tattoo on your body. Hence, you can never pray.

    • Let’s not get into a debate on how correct or incorrect this belief is but I personally choose not to follow it, and it may come as a surprise but thousands of Pakistanis adorn tattoos on various parts of their bodies that are not visible to the general public;

    Believe it or not, people will silently judge you for sporting a tattoo and label you as a disbeliever who will forever burn in hell. However, my reasons for not getting a tattoo in Pakistan are different. First, Pakistani parents tend to throw a fit when they hear about their children getting a tattoo — even if their “child’ is 31 years old.

    • Second, I was not certain if I could trust a Pakistani artist to create something stunning for me;
    • After all, you are stuck with the tattoo your entire life and contacting a novice tattoo artist was not an option I was comfortable with;

    More: Active shooter training in U. changed my mind about carrying a gun in Pakistan | Opinion Two weeks before my departure, the search for the perfect tattoo began. Various suggestions were thrown at me — from a cat to a heart, and from a boat to a dove, people were bursting with ideas that meant something to them.

    However, the goal was to find something that was meaningful to me. Google was my best friend for many nights and I came across numerous tattoo ideas until it hit me one day: I wanted a Phoenix! According to Greek mythology, the phoenix is a bird associated with the sun and obtains life by rising from its own ashes.

    The myth states that it was a beautiful rare bird that lived for 500 years before it died in a show of flames and combustion, only to be reborn. The legend of the phoenix resonated with me for several reasons: a) The bird is dramatic, just like I am. b) It’s a unique creature that was said to be seen rarely.

    • c) It represents freedom, resilience and strength;
    • Most importantly, it’s a symbol of life and the tough times everyone goes through;
    • The problems I faced are similar to those faced by people all over the world, whether it be heartbreak, anxiety or depression;

    However, I made sure hitting rock bottom never changed my personality or my heart — in fact I came out stronger and became more passionate about changing the world. On Wednesday, I finally built up the courage to call the Rocksteady Tattoo Company in Melbourne and turned my dreams into reality.

    My colleagues Caroline Glenn and Emre Kelly from FLORIDA TODAY offered to accompany me while the story of my life was being carved on my body. Fazal Khaliq, a fellow journalist from Pakistan, also came along to catch the act on camera since he has never seen anyone get a tattoo.

    My mind was flooded with fear because everyone had warned me about how painful the process is. I imagined being poked by small needles and the ink being sewed into my skin like a thread is sewed into cloth. To my surprise, it hardly hurt. All you need to do is avoid thinking about the needle poking you.

    I diverted my mind and kept humming “It’s a small world after all. ” Hey don’t judge, it actually worked for me! Within 10 minutes the outline of the tattoo was completed and the artist started filling in the phoenix design — and that’s when it hurt.

    I was able to bear the pain but a few minutes later my body started to react. I felt lightheaded and could feel my blood pressure dropping. Luckily, the very talented space reporter Emre rushed to my help with a KitKat, while Caroline stroked my hair and encouraged me to push through.

    Within the next hour, I was back in my hotel and excitedly sending photos of my tattooed back to my friends and siblings. My sister replied saying, “What the f***, Fatima. You can’t pray now. ” To those who don’t understand why people are obsessed with getting tattoos — especially my brilliant and loving host and FLORIDA TODAY Executive Editor Bob Gabordi — here’s a quote from the Marvel Daredevil TV show that might help: “Growing to love something is really simply forgetting slowly what you dislike about it.

    ” – James Wesley Fatima Shaheen Niazi is a journalist in Pakistan and is visiting FLORIDA TODAY  as part of an International Center for Journalists program.

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  • .

    When was the first tattoo given?

    Early and ethnographic tattoos – The earliest evidence of tattoo art comes in the form of clay figurines that had their faces painted or engraved to represent tattoo marks. The oldest figures of this kind have been recovered from tombs in Japan dating to 5000 BCE or older.

    In terms of actual tattoos, the oldest known human to have tattoos preserved upon his mummified skin is a Bronze-Age man from around 3300 BCE. Found in a glacier of the Otztal Alps, near the border between Austria and Italy, ‘Otzi the Iceman’ had 57 tattoos.

    Many were located on or near acupuncture points coinciding with the modern points that would be used to treat symptoms of diseases that he seems to have suffered from, including arthritis. Some scientists believe that these tattoos indicate an early type of acupuncture.

    1. Although it is not known how Otzi’s tattoos were made,  they seem to be made of soot;
    2. Other early examples of tattoos can be traced back to the Middle Kingdom period of ancient Egypt;
    3. Several mummies exhibiting tattoos have been recovered that date to around that time (2160–1994 BCE);

    In early Greek and Roman times (eighth to sixth century BCE) tattooing was associated with barbarians. The Greeks learned tattooing from the Persians, and used it to mark slaves and criminals so they could be identified if they tried to escape. The Romans in turn adopted this practice from the Greeks.

    • MORE: Is shoegaze the loneliest genre of music? ‘Stigma’ – now meaning a distinguishing mark of social disgrace – comes from the Latin, which means a mark or puncture, especially one made by a pointed instrument;

    Elaborately-tattooed mummies have been found in Pazyryk tombs (sixth to second century BCE). The Pazyryks were formidable Iron-Age horsemen and warriors who lived on the grass plains of Eastern Europe and Western Asia..

    How did tattoos start?

    On a fall day in 1991, two Germans hiking in the Alps near the Italian- Austrian border stumbled across what they initially believed to be a modern corpse frozen in the ice. Once the body was retrieved however, authorities discovered that it was anything but modern.

    • The mummy, nicknamed Ötzi after the valley where it was found, had survived in the ice to the ripe, old age of 5,300 years;
    • Analysis of the remains showed that when Ötzi died, he was a 30 to 45 year old man, standing roughly 160 cm tall;

    Mystery surrounds the exact circumstances of Ötzi’s death, although evidence suggests a violent end. That, however, is not the only secret Ötzi hides. Ötzi has over fifty lines and crosses tattooed onto his body – the earliest known evidence of tattooing in the world – most of them on his spine, knee and ankle joints.

    The locations of many of the markings are consistent with traditional Chinese acupuncture points, specifically those that are used to treat back pain and stomach upset. What is intriguing is that Ötzi lived roughly 2,000 years before the oldest generally accepted evidence of acupuncture, and well west of its purported origins in China.

    X-rays revealed that Ötzi had arthritis in his hip joint, knees, ankles and spine; forensic analysis discovered evidence of whipworm eggs – known to cause severe abdominal pain – in Ötzi’s stomach. It is, therefore, possible that Ötzi’s tattoos did in fact play a therapeutic role, and that acupuncture has a slightly more complicated history than previously believed.

    Before Ötzi poked his head through the ice, the earliest conclusive evidence of tattoos came from a handful of Egyptian mummies that date to the time of the construction of the great pyramids over 4,000 years ago.

    Indirect archaeological evidence (i. statuettes with engraved designs that are occasionally associated with needles and clay discs containing ochre) suggests that the practice of tattooing may actually be much older and more widespread than the mummies would have us believe.

    Ethnographic and historical texts reveal that tattooing has been practiced by just about every human culture in historic times. The ancient Greeks used tattoos from the 5th century on to communicate among spies; later, the Romans marked criminals and slaves with tattoos.

    In Japan, criminals were tattooed with a single line across their forehead for a first offence; for the second offence an arch was added, and finally, for the third offence, another line was tattooed which completed the symbol for “dog”: the original three strikes and you’re out!  Evidence suggests that the Maya, Inca and Aztec used tattooing in rituals, and that the early Britons used tattoos in certain ceremonies.

    1. The Danes, Norse and Saxons are known to have tattooed family crests onto their bodies;
    2. During the crusades, some Europeans tattooed a cross on their hands or arms to mark their participation and indicate their desire for a Christian burial should they not return;

    From the Tahitian “tatau” which means to mark or strike, the word tattoo refers to some of the traditional modes of application where ink is “tapped” into the skin by using sharp sticks or bone. Certain peoples in the Arctic however, have used a needle to pull carbon-embedded thread under the skin to create linear designs.

    And still others have traditionally cut designs into the skin and then rubbed the incisions with ink or ashes. Modern electric tattoo machines are modeled on the one patented by New York tattoo artist Samuel O’Reilly in 1891, which itself is only slightly different from Thomas Edison’s electric engraver pen, patented in 1876.

    The needles of a modern machine move up and down at a rate of between 50- 3000 vibrations per minute; they penetrate only about 1 mm below the surface of the skin to deliver pigments. Our bodies treat the injected pigments as non-toxic foreign elements that need to be contained.

    So, certain types of cells in our bodies engulf the minute amounts of pigment. Once full, they move poorly and become relatively fixed in the connective tissue of the dermis, which is why tattoo designs do not generally change with time.

    A pigment’s molecules are actually colorless. Those molecules though, are arranged into crystals in various ways such that colors are produced when light refracts off of them. The pigments that are used in tattoos are often made of metal salts, which are metals that have reacted with oxygen; this process is called oxidation and is exemplified by rusting iron.

    The pigment is held in a carrier solution to disinfect the pigments by inhibiting the growth of pathogens, to keep it evenly mixed and to facilitate its application. Most modern pigments are carried by alcohols, specifically methyl or ethyl alcohols, which are the simplest and most commonly used types.

    The popularity of tattoos has continuously risen and fallen through time. Currently, the practice of tattooing is booming, and it is estimated that roughly one in every seven people in N. America – over 39 million people total – have at least one tattoo. Through time and around the world, the reasons for getting tattoos are numerous and varied.

    They include religious purposes, for protection or as a source of power, as an indication of group membership, as a status symbol, as an artistic expression, for permanent cosmetics, and as an adjunct to reconstructive surgery.

    And now, a new reason can be added to the list: Andrew Fisher, an American webpage designer, recently auctioned his forehead as ad space on eBay. It sold for over $37,000 and left Andrew with a snoring remedy logo tattooed (semi- permanently) on his head for a month.

    Where did tattooing come from?

    What Was The First Tattoo Ever The tattooed right hand of a Chiribaya mummy is displayed at El Algarrobal Museum, near the port of Ilo in southern Peru. The Chiribaya were farmers who lived from A. 900 to 1350. Joann Fletcher Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. These permanent designs—sometimes plain, sometimes elaborate, always personal—have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment.

    Joann Fletcher, research fellow in the department of archaeology at the University of York in Britain, describes the history of tattoos and their cultural significance to people around the world, from the famous ” Iceman,” a 5,200-year-old frozen mummy, to today’s Maori.

    What is the earliest evidence of tattoos? In terms of tattoos on actual bodies, the earliest known examples were for a long time Egyptian and were present on several female mummies dated to c. 2000 B. But following the more recent discovery of the Iceman from the area of the Italian-Austrian border in 1991 and his tattoo patterns, this date has been pushed back a further thousand years when he was carbon-dated at around 5,200 years old.

    1. Can you describe the tattoos on the Iceman and their significance? Following discussions with my colleague Professor Don Brothwell of the University of York, one of the specialists who examined him, the distribution of the tattooed dots and small crosses on his lower spine and right knee and ankle joints correspond to areas of strain-induced degeneration, with the suggestion that they may have been applied to alleviate joint pain and were therefore essentially therapeutic;

    This would also explain their somewhat ‘random’ distribution in areas of the body which would not have been that easy to display had they been applied as a form of status marker. What is the evidence that ancient Egyptians had tattoos? There’s certainly evidence that women had tattoos on their bodies and limbs from figurines c.

    • 4000-3500 B;
    • to occasional female figures represented in tomb scenes c;
    • 1200 B;
    • and in figurine form c;
    • 1300 B;
    • , all with tattoos on their thighs;
    • Also small bronze implements identified as tattooing tools were discovered at the town site of Gurob in northern Egypt and dated to c;

    1450 B. And then, of course, there are the mummies with tattoos, from the three women already mentioned and dated to c. 2000 B. to several later examples of female mummies with these forms of permanent marks found in Greco-Roman burials at Akhmim. What function did these tattoos serve? Who got them and why? Because this seemed to be an exclusively female practice in ancient Egypt, mummies found with tattoos were usually dismissed by the (male) excavators who seemed to assume the women were of “dubious status,” described in some cases as “dancing girls.

    ” The female mummies had nevertheless been buried at Deir el-Bahari (opposite modern Luxor) in an area associated with royal and elite burials, and we know that at least one of the women described as “probably a royal concubine” was actually a high-status priestess named Amunet, as revealed by her funerary inscriptions.

    And although it has long been assumed that such tattoos were the mark of prostitutes or were meant to protect the women against sexually transmitted diseases, I personally believe that the tattooing of ancient Egyptian women had a therapeutic role and functioned as a permanent form of amulet during the very difficult time of pregnancy and birth.

    This is supported by the pattern of distribution, largely around the abdomen, on top of the thighs and the breasts, and would also explain the specific types of designs, in particular the net-like distribution of dots applied over the abdomen.

    During pregnancy, this specific pattern would expand in a protective fashion in the same way bead nets were placed over wrapped mummies to protect them and “keep everything in. ” The placing of small figures of the household deity Bes at the tops of their thighs would again suggest the use of tattoos as a means of safeguarding the actual birth, since Bes was the protector of women in labor, and his position at the tops of the thighs a suitable location.

    This would ultimately explain tattoos as a purely female custom. Who made the tattoos? Although we have no explicit written evidence in the case of ancient Egypt, it may well be that the older women of a community would create the tattoos for the younger women, as happened in 19th-century Egypt and happens in some parts of the world today.

    What instruments did they use? It is possible that an implement best described as a sharp point set in a wooden handle, dated to c. 3000 B. and discovered by archaeologist W. Petrie at the site of Abydos may have been used to create tattoos. Petrie also found the aforementioned set of small bronze instruments c.

    1450 B. —resembling wide, flattened needles—at the ancient town site of Gurob. If tied together in a bunch, they would provide repeated patterns of multiple dots. These instruments are also remarkably similar to much later tattooing implements used in 19th-century Egypt.

    The English writer William Lane (1801-1876) observed, “the operation is performed with several needles (generally seven) tied together: with these the skin is pricked in a desired pattern: some smoke black (of wood or oil), mixed with milk from the breast of a woman, is then rubbed in.

    • It is generally performed at the age of about 5 or 6 years, and by gipsy-women;
    • ” What did these tattoos look like? Most examples on mummies are largely dotted patterns of lines and diamond patterns, while figurines sometimes feature more naturalistic images;

    The tattoos occasionally found in tomb scenes and on small female figurines which form part of cosmetic items also have small figures of the dwarf god Bes on the thigh area. What were they made of? How many colors were used? Usually a dark or black pigment such as soot was introduced into the pricked skin. What Was The First Tattoo Ever / This mummified head of a woman from the pre-Inca Chiribaya culture, located at the Azapa Museum in Arica, Chile, is adorned with facial tattoos on her lower left cheek. Joann Fletcher What Was The First Tattoo Ever / The tattooed right hand of a Chiribaya mummy is displayed at El Algarrobal Museum, near the port of Ilo in southern Peru. The Chiribaya were farmers who lived from A. 900 to 1350. Joann Fletcher What Was The First Tattoo Ever / A tattooed predynastic female figurine (c. 4000-3500 B. ) is displayed at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford. Joann Fletcher / The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is home to this tattooed predynastic female figure. Joann Fletcher What Was The First Tattoo Ever / This female figurine from Naszca, Peru, is now displayed at the Regional Museum of Ica. Joann Fletcher What Was The First Tattoo Ever / Small bronze tattooing implements (c. 1450 B. ) from Gurob, Egypt, can be found at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London. Joann Fletcher What Was The First Tattoo Ever / This blue bowl (c. 1300 B. ), housed in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, Amsterdam, features a musician tattooed with an image of the household deity Bes on her thigh. Joann Fletcher What has surprised you the most about ancient Egyptian tattooing? That it appears to have been restricted to women during the purely dynastic period, i.

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    It seems that brighter colors were largely used in other ancient cultures, such as the Inuit who are believed to have used a yellow color along with the more usual darker pigments. pre-332 B. Also the way in which some of the designs can be seen to be very well placed, once it is accepted they were used as a means of safeguarding women during pregnancy and birth.

    Can you describe the tattoos used in other ancient cultures and how they differ? Among the numerous ancient cultures who appear to have used tattooing as a permanent form of body adornment, the Nubians to the south of Egypt are known to have used tattoos.

    1. The mummified remains of women of the indigenous C-group culture found in cemeteries near Kubban c;
    2. 2000-15000 B;
    3. were found to have blue tattoos, which in at least one case featured the same arrangement of dots across the abdomen noted on the aforementioned female mummies from Deir el-Bahari;

    The ancient Egyptians also represented the male leaders of the Libyan neighbors c. 1300-1100 B. with clear, rather geometrical tattoo marks on their arms and legs and portrayed them in Egyptian tomb, temple and palace scenes. The Scythian Pazyryk of the Altai Mountain region were another ancient culture which employed tattoos.

    1. In 1948, the 2,400 year old body of a Scythian male was discovered preserved in ice in Siberia, his limbs and torso covered in ornate tattoos of mythical animals;
    2. Then, in 1993, a woman with tattoos, again of mythical creatures on her shoulders, wrists and thumb and of similar date, was found in a tomb in Altai;

    The practice is also confirmed by the Greek writer Herodotus c. 450 B. , who stated that amongst the Scythians and Thracians “tattoos were a mark of nobility, and not to have them was testimony of low birth. ” Accounts of the ancient Britons likewise suggest they too were tattooed as a mark of high status, and with “divers shapes of beasts” tattooed on their bodies, the Romans named one northern tribe “Picti,” literally “the painted people.

    • ” Yet amongst the Greeks and Romans, the use of tattoos or “stigmata” as they were then called, seems to have been largely used as a means to mark someone as “belonging” either to a religious sect or to an owner in the case of slaves or even as a punitive measure to mark them as criminals;

    It is therefore quite intriguing that during Ptolemaic times when a dynasty of Macedonian Greek monarchs ruled Egypt, the pharaoh himself, Ptolemy IV (221-205 B. ), was said to have been tattooed with ivy leaves to symbolize his devotion to Dionysus, Greek god of wine and the patron deity of the royal house at that time.

    1. The fashion was also adopted by Roman soldiers and spread across the Roman Empire until the emergence of Christianity, when tattoos were felt to “disfigure that made in God’s image” and so were banned by the Emperor Constantine (A;

    306-373). We have also examined tattoos on mummified remains of some of the ancient pre-Columbian cultures of Peru and Chile, which often replicate the same highly ornate images of stylized animals and a wide variety of symbols found in their textile and pottery designs.

    One stunning female figurine of the Naszca culture has what appears to be a huge tattoo right around her lower torso, stretching across her abdomen and extending down to her genitalia and, presumably, once again alluding to the regions associated with birth.

    Then on the mummified remains which have survived, the tattoos were noted on torsos, limbs, hands, the fingers and thumbs, and sometimes facial tattooing was practiced. With extensive facial and body tattooing used among Native Americans, such as the Cree, the mummified bodies of a group of six Greenland Inuit women c.

    1. 1475 also revealed evidence for facial tattooing;
    2. Infrared examination revealed that five of the women had been tattooed in a line extending over the eyebrows, along the cheeks and in some cases with a series of lines on the chin;

    Another tattooed female mummy, dated 1,000 years earlier, was also found on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, her tattoos of dots, lines and hearts confined to the arms and hands. Evidence for tattooing is also found amongst some of the ancient mummies found in China’s Taklamakan Desert c.

    1200 B. , although during the later Han Dynasty (202 B. -A. 220), it seems that only criminals were tattooed. Japanese men began adorning their bodies with elaborate tattoos in the late A. 3rd century. The elaborate tattoos of the Polynesian cultures are thought to have developed over millennia, featuring highly elaborate geometric designs, which in many cases can cover the whole body.

    Following James Cook’s British expedition to Tahiti in 1769, the islanders’ term “tatatau” or “tattau,” meaning to hit or strike, gave the west our modern term “tattoo. ” The marks then became fashionable among Europeans, particularly so in the case of men such as sailors and coal-miners, with both professions which carried serious risks and presumably explaining the almost amulet-like use of anchors or miner’s lamp tattoos on the men’s forearms.

    • What about modern tattoos outside of the western world? Modern Japanese tattoos are real works of art, with many modern practioners, while the highly skilled tattooists of Samoa continue to create their art as it was carried out in ancient times, prior to the invention of modern tattooing equipment;

    Various cultures throughout Africa also employ tattoos, including the fine dots on the faces of Berber women in Algeria, the elaborate facial tattoos of Wodabe men in Niger and the small crosses on the inner forearms which mark Egypt’s Christian Copts.

    What do Maori facial designs represent? In the Maori culture of New Zealand, the head was considered the most important part of the body, with the face embellished by incredibly elaborate tattoos or ‘moko,’ which were regarded as marks of high status.

    Each tattoo design was unique to that individual and since it conveyed specific information about their status, rank, ancestry and abilities, it has accurately been described as a form of id card or passport, a kind of aesthetic bar code for the face.

    After sharp bone chisels were used to cut the designs into the skin, a soot-based pigment would be tapped into the open wounds, which then healed over to seal in the design. With the tattoos of warriors given at various stages in their lives as a kind of rite of passage, the decorations were regarded as enhancing their features and making them more attractive to the opposite sex.

    Although Maori women were also tattooed on their faces, the markings tended to be concentrated around the nose and lips. Although Christian missionaries tried to stop the procedure, the women maintained that tattoos around their mouths and chins prevented the skin becoming wrinkled and kept them young; the practice was apparently continued as recently as the 1970s.

    1. Why do you think so many cultures have marked the human body and did their practices influence one another? In many cases, it seems to have sprung up independently as a permanent way to place protective or therapeutic symbols upon the body, then as a means of marking people out into appropriate social, political or religious groups, or simply as a form of self-expression or fashion statement;

    Yet, as in so many other areas of adornment, there was of course cross-cultural influences, such as those which existed between the Egyptians and Nubians, the Thracians and Greeks and the many cultures encountered by Roman soldiers during the expansion of the Roman Empire in the final centuries B.

    Why do humans get tattoos?

    Body art, body bling, self-graffiti, walking billboards, fashionable ink accessories. Each of these expressions depict the physical nature of the tattoo. What’s often NOT discussed, however, is the emotional side of tattoos. I vividly remember the first time I saw a “tramp stamp.

    ” A woman was reaching for something in the front row of a large auditorium and a few rows of men and women witnessed her walking artistry. Everyone had a reaction. And once she left the room, we all talked about it.

    It was like group therapy. The responses ranged from “She’s definitely a party girl, probably drinks a lot, has a lot of sex and a rough childhood,” to “She’s probably really creative, edgy, a leader and an independent thinker. ” Some liked her more, some liked her less and many guys were more interested in her because of the tattoo.

    Whatever the response, we were all intrigued, and each of us conjured up our own personal version of her story — all from the sight of a well-placed tattoo. In those days, tattoos were still controversial.

    Now, they’re more accepted than ever. You could even call them “trendy. ” In the nightlife scene, tattoo artists are rapidly becoming a popular career choice. Sooner or later, we’re going to see a leather-clad, tattoo-sleeved, multi-pierced guy named Rocko at our kid’s career fair standing next to the “Be a DJ” booth.

    • Although tattoos have been around for more than 5,000 years (Egyptians used tattoos to differentiate peasants from slaves and social branding has been around a long time), ink art has really exploded in the last 25 years;

    [1] Is it social branding? Tattoos are a conversation starter. Either there’s a story attached or a “skin”-showing session or an emotional response derived from the sight of ink art. And the emotional response from the sight of tattoos leads to a modern-day version of social branding.

    “He must be tough. ” “She’s probably easy. ” “He’ll never get a corporate job. ” “She just wants to drink vodka tonics and dance on a speaker. ” Of course there are variables. In my opinion, the older you are, the less chance you’ll be forgiving of tattoos.

    Neck and face tattoos are usually not as well-received as other locations no matter what your age (sorry, Big Mike). Where you put the tattoo, how may tattoos you have, what the tattoos is and the size of the tattoos all help shape the emotional response of the viewer.

    1. And that observer could be anyone from a potential boss, a family member or a date;
    2. You’re incredibly naïve or in total denial if you think your tattoos aren’t going to have a significant positive or negative influence on people who don’t know you well;

    Why Get Tattoos? People get tattoos for many reasons: for attention, self-expression, artistic freedom, rebellion, a visual display of a personal narrative, reminders of spiritual/cultural traditions, sexual motivation, addiction, identification with a group or even drunken impulsiveness (which is why many tattoo parlors are open late).

    And now, according to some research studies , 15-38 percent of Americans have some type of long-term body art. What was once considered self-mutilatory behavior and a psychiatric problem has now become almost normative behavior.

    What Does Your Tattoo Mean? Some people mark themselves for life to remind them of past family members or ancient sayings or religious scriptures or names of their current family/love interest. Other people use tattoos to enhance their sexual prowess or feed their exhibitionist side, and many people use tattoos to visually promote their identity and/or group affiliation. Research on tattoos reveals some interesting findings:

    • Adults with tattoos have been shown to be more sexually active than controls without tattoos.
  • People with tattoos have been shown to be more likely to engage in more higher risk behaviors.
  • Women who get tattoos are more than twice as likely to get them removed as men.
  • In studying first impressions of people that have tattoos, researchers have found that avatars (neutral) with tattoos and other body modifications were rated as more likely to be thrill and adventure seekers, to have a higher number of previous sexual partners, and to be less inhibited than non-tattooed avatars. This study looked at general stigma associated with people sporting tattoos.
  • And another study showed both men and women had higher body appreciation, higher self esteem and lower anxiety right after getting new tattoos. Surprisingly, three weeks later men continued to have less anxiety but women had a sharp increase in anxiety that may be associated with concerns about body image.
  • And I’ve personally seen tattoo markings used as an endorphin release and substitute for addictive behavior. An individual addicted to pills was able to stop popping pills but then subsequently became addicted to getting body ink. So what does this mean? Our current society craves individuality and self expression. And now many people wear their artistic expression.

    “I stand for. ” Johnny Depp said, “My body is my journal and my tattoos are my story. ” Tattoos can visually reveal more about you or distract people from getting to know the real you. Some people hide behind their tattoos.

    We are having more trouble communicating with each other than ever before, as electronic communication will never replace face-to-face human contact. So, it’s not surprising that there’s a growing trend toward communication via body ink. We don’t have to talk, we just have to look.

    • Our bodies have become the refrigerator magnets of quotes, sayings and reminders;
    • Whether you like it or not, tattoos are growing in popularity;
    • The long-term fear of being “marked for life” is being tempered by tattoo removal technology and people getting used to seeing tattoos;

    Personally, I chose not to have a tattoo (henna tattoos don’t count) because the beauty of life is that it’s unexpected and we change with our experiences. What we stand for and believe in at 18 is very different than 35 or 60. If we stood for one thing in life and it never changed, then we could all have “life script” tattoos (and face boredom on a regular basis).

    • But we do grow and change;
    • I appreciate the artistry of tattoos but also enjoy the mystery of learning about someone without being “visually influenced” to have a response;
    • We all judge, and first impressions probably carry more weight than they should;

    Whatever your feelings are about tattoos, one thing is for sure: There’s definitely more than meets the eye. Reference: 1. Caplan J. (Ed). 2000. Written on the Body: The Tattoo in European & American History; Princeton N. , Princeton University Press For more by Reef Karim, D.