The oldest tattoo: what a body drawing looks like now, which is more than 5 thousand years old

No one argues that it turns out very beautifully and effectively, only the original meaning of the tattoos was different. And, interestingly, they thought so for more than 5 thousand years. Yes, scientists were able to find the oldest tattoo and quite accurately determine its time. And will tell you about it now.

History of the oldest tattoo

For a long time it was believed that a mummy from South America (Chinchorro people), dated to about 2 millennium BC, was the owner of the oldest tattoo. Several ink dots above the upper lip, folding into what looks like a thin tendril. Remarkably, the mustaches and beards of the indigenous people of South America grow very poorly. So we can safely say that this tattoo was an early predecessor of the eyebrow tattoo. However, despite its impressive age, this is far from the very first tattoo.

So. Around 3300 BC. The Minoan civilization flourishes on the island of Crete, the first city-state of Uruk was founded in Mesopotamia for a hundred years now, Egypt is thinking about unification, the Trypillian culture is actively developing on the territory of Ukraine, and Ötzi freezes on the slopes of the Alps – a typical representative of the European Neolithic, the bearer of the most ancient tattoos.

This citizen froze to death very successfully – with almost complete preservation of tissues, although with a pronounced dehydration of everything that was possible. Therefore, clothes, equipment, food remains in the stomach and, of course, skin were preserved. On which the researchers were surprised to find numerous lines made with charcoal.

It was not a drawing, but a tattoo, since it touched the deep layers of the skin. In total, we counted something about 15 groups of characters. Most often – lines of equal length, grouped and separated from the rest. There are 57 elements in total. Surely they carried some kind of symbolic meaning.

It is also noteworthy that by the standards of his contemporaries, Oetzi was the most ordinary person. Although in those days it was almost a feat to live to be 45 years old. However, he was neither a leader, nor a shaman, nor any high-ranking hunter. And if an ordinary person had so many tattoos, then what could have those who, according to the “nature of service”, needed to stand out among the people? Alas, it was not possible to find such well-preserved mummies from the European Neolithic period. In those days, they preferred classical burials, which, alas, did not leave any chance for the skin to survive. There is some hope for the ancient peat bogs, where, theoretically, someone could also die and mummify, but this is only a theory.

So tattoos are an extremely ancient and very common thing. It is difficult to find a culture in which they would not be present. And in the same Ancient Egypt, tattoos were an obligatory thing for the priests. Mummies have confirmed this many times.

We also believe that you would be interested in learning other interesting facts about tattoos. Yet it is a really important part of human culture and art.

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