When did people begin to get tattooed or to have people tattooed?
This is the Part 2 of Burmese Tattoos article by Guest Author Mr. Markus Burman
- Burmese Tattoos – Part 1
- Burmese Tattoos – Part 2
- Burmese Tattoos – Part 3
- Burmese Tattoos – Part 4
- Burmese Tattoos – Part 5
- Burmese Tattoos – Part 6
- Burmese Tattoos – Part 7
Body modification in form of tattoos is proven to be an ancient art and the question for when and how tattooing really began is wide open to speculation and will never be answered. I agree with the assumption that most likely at the very beginning was an abrasion with a penetration of dirt that remained visible in the skin after the wound was healed. From this accidental result of an injury the art of tattooing developed; makes sense to me. The question for the time that is proving that people were tattooed we have already sufficiently answered in that we have identified ‘Oetzi’ the Iceman as the so far oldest known tattooed human being.
But this does not mean that there have not been tattoos in earlier cultures and that there are not older tattooed mummies waiting to be unearthed. However, all other at this time existing archaeological finds, such as bowls with remnants of pigments of black, blue and red pigments and small, pointed and sharp flint stone splinter, long needles made of fishbone and horn, etc. that could have been used for tattooing are mere evidence. These things that were discovered in different countries on different continents with some of them dating back even to before the last Great Ice Age (12.000 years ago or 9500 BC, the Neolithic Era) allow the hypothetical conclusion that tattooing has probably been known and practised already back then are as previously said mere evidence and no conclusive proof. Definite proof would require discovering tattoos on a mummified human body or at the very least a piece of preserved skin identified as human skin with a tattoo older than that of ‘Oetzi’.
Where did people begin to get tattooed?
The first proof of tattooed human beings and answer to the question where people most likely began to get tattooed or to tattoo people we do already have: it was on the European continent – more precisely phrased in the region of present days Austria and Italy as well as most probably in neighbouring countries – as irrefutably proven by ‘Oetzi’.
From later eras such as the times of the Persian Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Mongolian Empire, Chinese Dynasties and the South American Inca, Mayan and Aztecs Empires as well as all regions that these Empires included exists ample proof in form of whole mummies or parts of mummies that the respective cultures have been tattooing cultures.
Here are some examples. The mummified Ukok ‘princess’ found in Siberia is 2.500 years old, a 3.000 years old Egyptian female mummy was discovered close to the ‘Valley of the Kings’ and the remains of a 4.500 years old mummified woman have been found by archaeologists in northern Peru.
Around 2000 BC tattooing became a part of Chinese culture from where it spread all over mainland south-east Asia. Some of the earliest tattooed mummies from China that have been found on graveyards in the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang/west China date from about 2000 BC to 300 BC
Why did people start to get tattooed and tattoo other people?
From discovering that it is possible to insert permanent pictures into the skin to the development of tattooing as an art it was but a small step.
The meaning and symbolic of tattoos that developed over time do always and everywhere cover the same aspects of life physical as well as spiritual. That is why the purposes tattoos are serving are e.g. expression of feelings (love and hate), beautification, expression of physical strengths and/or magical power, ethnic identity (tribal membership, nationality), personal identity, social class and financial status, group membership (club, army, criminal organisation), religious affiliation and related symbols and/or texts, medical treatment (acupuncture), punishment or protection from sickness and/or daemons. [End of Part 2, Continued in Part 3]
Burmese Tattoos [Part 1] [Part 2]
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Markus_Burman/2114042
Guest Author @ TangyTalk: I am Markus Burman and am living since more than 25 years in Burma, since 1989 called Myanmar. I know the country, its people, culture and history very well what makes an authority on the subject of Burma/Myanmar. Born, educated and trained in Germany I have spent more than half of my professional life outside Germany. In 2012 I retired and turned full-time writer. Since then I divide my time between my family (wife, daughter, son in law and grandson) and my work as writer, which includes quite some travelling, researching and, yes, lots of writing.
I am writing exclusively on Burma and in my book series ‘This Is the Real Burma’ I have so far written and published four books in eBook format available on Amazon.