Ancient tattoos may have been used as medicine
2013-10-24 0:00

By Annalee Newitz | io9.com



We know that many ancient peoples practiced tattooing, based on the body art we see represented in figurines and wall carvings. But these tattoos found on the skin of the mummified 5,000-year-old body of ÷tzi the Iceman reveal that body art wasnít just ceremonial.

Over at Archaeology magazine, thereís a fantastic article on ancient tattoos, many of which were incredibly elaborate. But perhaps most fascinating are the tattoos on ÷tzi. Partly thatís because they are our only examples of real-life ancient tattoos. Every other example of ancient tattoos comes from art, and we canít be certain that they show actual tattoo patterns or an idealized version of them. ÷tziís markings reveal how tattoos were made, at least in Copper Age Europe. And they hint at why they were made, too.

Write Jarrett A. Lobell and Eric A. Powell in Archaeology:
÷tziís clothing, tools, and weapons are a remarkable window into the life of a herder or perhaps a chieftain in Copper Age Europe. But it is ÷tziís body itself, almost perfectly preserved by the snow and ice that covered him shortly after his death, that provides unique evidence of early medicine. ÷tzi is covered with more than 50 tattoos in the form of lines and crosses made up of small incisions in his skin into which charcoal was rubbed. Because they are all found on parts of the body that show evidence of a lifetime of wear and tearóthe ankles, wrists, knees, Achilles tendon, and lower back, for exampleóitís thought that ÷tziís tattoos were therapeutic, not decorative or symbolic.

[...]

Read the full article at: io9.com



Related Articles
Will Electronic Tattoos Replace Internet Passwords And All Other Forms Of Identification?
íSmart tattooí monitors and displays your metabolic stats
Thai ďSorcererĒ Gives Disciples Bulletproof Tattoos, They Decide to Try Them Out
Living Textbook: Professor Covers Body in Ancient Tattoos
The astonishing 2,500 year old tattoos of a Siberian princess: little has changed in how we decorate our bodies
FBI Wants a Database of Your Tattoos
íCurse of the Icemaní Linked to Scientistís Death
Model gives ancient Iceman Oetzi new face


Latest News from our Front Page

Pro-Israel bias: BBC admits editorial breach in interview with Israeli defense chief
2015-05-23 7:58
The BBC has reached a ‚Äúprovisional finding‚ÄĚ to uphold complaints made by Palestinian activists that the broadcaster breached its editorial guidelines in a ‚Äúsoft‚ÄĚ interview with the Israeli defense minister. Complaints focused on BBC journalist Sarah Montague‚Äôs alleged failure to challenge controversial claims made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya‚Äôalon. Journalist Amena Saleem, who works with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), wrote ...
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
2015-05-23 7:31
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech" 1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person? 2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes Do ...
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
2015-05-23 7:36
FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
2015-05-23 7:13
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
2015-05-23 6:43
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations. A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
More News »