Body modifications throughout history



Hope ShyAnne, Reporter

Famous Greek Philosopher Plato thinks your tattoos are barbaric!

Not in the way you are probably thinking though.

The history of tattoos goes far back, all the way to 3,300 B.C.

The oldest documented tattoos discovered, so far, are on the body of the mummy, Otzi the Iceman, according to the Smithsonian magazine.

Found in the early 1900s, his body was preserved in the Alps between Austria and Italy. His tattoos were noted to be used for pain management. He had dots and lines placed above stressed joints on his body.

Just how the Chinese use acupuncture, people in the Copper Age used tattoos to relieve their joint pain, and from what current researchers are discovering other pains like chest pain and the Lyme disease that Otzi had.

Otzi had his tattoos done by rubbing soot or ash into an incision, according to History of Tattoos website, that sounds way more painful than the tattoo gun we know today!

Around 700 B.C Greeks and Romans decided it was a wonderful idea to mark slaves and criminals with tattoos on their faces and hands as a way to label them as barbaric.

Greek Philosopher Plato, around 440 B.C. agreed on these thoughts and thought all individuals that were guilty of sacrilege deserved to be tattooed and banished from the Republic.

From 306 to 337 A.D when the Christian Emperor Constantine banned tattooing, tattooing was labeled as uncivilized and vulgar, according to Elisha Belden cofounder and owner of Twister Ink, in Inverness, Florida.

Pigments such as red ochre were used through the years to provide colors to tattoos. Some of the tools used were rose thorns, sharks’ teeth, and pelican bones.

And yes, I pick rose thorns as being the worst option out of those three.

Needles and chisels were used as tools and sometimes it was required that two people made the tattoo, with one person holding the skin in place and one putting on the design.

They would also use a row of needles adhered to a wood or metal handle.

In 1876 Thomas Edison created the blueprints for the first electric tattoo machine, according to the New York Historical Society.

Kudos to him because that invention widened the way tattoos could look.

Around the 18th century tattoos became popular among British sailors.

That carried on to the Western world where bodies of seaman would have many tattoos.

Then in the 1970s, bikers, as in the Hells Angels, had brought in loads of skull, and flames, and the Grim Reaper tattoos.

Once again, labeling tattoos as something to stay away from.

However, art is not going away.

Tattoos continued on to develop with more natural options, like vegan ink, and colorful ways.

Now, according to the Pew Research center, about 40% of millennials have at least one tattoo.

Your riches don’t last forever, but your tattoos will, just ask Otzi.