A Brief History Of Tattoo Essay Research

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A Brief History Of Tattoo Essay, Research Paper The art of Tattoo has been around for many thousands of years.The styles and reasons for it have varied from individual to individual as they have from society to society.Some tattoos were done for simple adornment, others done for religious beliefs,and others still for reasons only their owners will understand.Tattooing has existed in one form or a another across the globe since before recorded history , and the popularity of this unique form of expression will most likely continue for centuries to come.Although the basic concept of tattoo has been a constant throughout the history of mankind the styles and reasons for it have evolved along with mans own evolution. Five thousand years ago,a man fell dead on the slopes of the

Italian Alps.Five thousand years later when his well preserved body was discovered,something remarkable was found.Across his back and behind both knees were several simple line tattoos.The significance to these tattoos , if there was any other then to decorate the body, are unknown.Some speculate that they were done for medicinal purposes.The pigments used may have been a certain type of berry know to have curative effects for different ailments. (1,3) The oldest tattooed mummy on record is the Lady Amunet,who was a priestess of the Goddess Hathor.She lived in Thebes around 2160 B.C..Her tattoos consisted of curling blue lines and dots scattered across most of her body.Historians don?t know if there were specific reasons or meanings associated with the markings themselves,or the

placement,however, the current theory is that they are somehow related to a hieroglyphic image of a woman covered in tattoos.These images of tattooed women , found in the tombs of Kings , are known as the Brides of the dead.It was thought that these brides of the dead would lead the dead Kings to the after life and there rejuvenate them.Amunet , perhaps,was a living representation of this religious belief.Eventually Egyptian tattooing began to move past simple abstract symbols and into more representational art.The only specific design found,was that of the God Bes.Bes protected the home,everything in it,and also women who were giving birth.Done as a simple outline,this tattoo has been found on the thighs of dancers? mummified bodies.(1,5) The ancient Romans were vehemently

against marking the body in any way.The belief being that we are created in Gods image and to desecrate that was sacrilege .In Rome at this time,tattoos were grounds for banishment.Further more Romans used tattoos in order to brand criminals. However,while fighting on foreign fronts Roman soldiers encountered warriors of the British Isles who wore tattoos as a badge of honor.Perhaps in admiration or sympathy with these fierce foes, these Roman soldiers adopted the practice of tattoo.As these Roman soldiers returned home the market for tattoos grew in the heart of Rome.Doctors,whose tools could be adapted to the practice of tattooing quickly took up the art and began to perfect the trade, becoming tattoo artists in their own right. (4) Here we begin to see how the individual has

always persued the tattoo even though it runs counter to the beliefs and values of the society in which they live.This was never more true then in the early days of Christianity.It was at this time that tattoos were forbidden under the guise of religion .?Thou shalt not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead,nor print any marks upon you ? Leviticus 19:28.Despite this, many early Christians had themselves tattooed with a cross to signify their permanent allegiance to Christ.Some of the power of a tattoo comes from its permanence once placed on the body.If found by the Romans,these early tattooed Christians would surly be put to death. In 325 A.D. tattoos again came under fire as Emperor Constantine took up Christianity.The pagan Roman Empire became the Holy Roman