Com150 Final Essay

The History of Tattoos and Body Piercings


Axia College

    Often times people are ridiculed for having a couple tattoos and body piercings. People have

been given   mean looks, been treated badly,   and have even been turned down for things simply

because of their choice to express themselves through body art. Some people look at people with

tattoos and piercings and think it is wrong to do such a thing. However when you look at history

you will see that this form of art is normal and although many people are against it, the art of

tattoos and body piercing's has played a major role throughout many cultures for years.

    The word tattoo originates from the Tahitian word “tatau” meaning to mark or strike. British

Captain James Cook visited Tahiti in 1969 where he and his crew encountered heavily tattooed

Polynesians. After Cook's voyage him and his crew returned to England and introduced the word

“tattoo” into the English language.   (Janey Levy 2008)

    Tattoos have been used for thousands of years. Until recently the earliest evidence of tattoos were on mummified Egyptian females dated back to c.2000 B.C. That was until the 1991 discovery of the Iceman on the Italian-Austrian border of the iceman. The iceman was found with tattoo markings on his lower spine, right knee, and ankle joints. It is believed these markings may have been used for therapeutic reasons based on the locations of them. The findings of the iceman and his tattoos has pushed the evidence of tattoos back another thousand years when he was carbon dated at around 5,200 years old. ( Lineberry 2007)
    Different cultures utilized tattoos in different ways. In 1948 between Russia and China

mummies were found that dated back to   2,400 years ago. The tattoos found on them were

mostly animals believed to be magical. Archeologists believe the tattoos were   used to reflect the

status of the...