Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Seriously Old School

October 4th, 2010 by

Despite the fact that Abbott and Costello films and the odd History channel documentary make up the extent of my knowledge about mummies, I’ve always been intrigued by the very concept of mummification and all that it entails.  Yes, I’m far from an expert on the topic, but I am always willing to learn a little more about the burial processes of these ancient peoples.

Well, one thing that I’ve recently learned is that not all mummies came from Egypt.  Nope, mummies have been found in places like Russia, Italy, Denmark and Greenland, to name but a few.  At any rate, the mummies that recently caught my eye are those that were found in Peru, from the Chinchorros culture.  Yes, it’s amazing that these preserved bodies have been found and yes, it’s amazing that these mummies even exist at all, but something that I really find amazing are the tattoos found on a particular mummy that was excavated in the Chiribaya Alta in southern Peru.

The mummy itself is a female, and dates back 1,000 years.  The tattoos on the mummy are particularly diverse and shed more light on the concept of ancient tattoos while perhaps offering larger conclusions about what exactly the purpose of some of the tattoos could have been.

‘The female mummy in the study is much more recent, from about 1,000 B.C., and bore tattooed animals like “birds, apes, reptiles in addition to symbols.” Rings were tattooed on four of the fingers with soot.

Most intriguing to the researchers, 12 overlapping circles tattooed on the woman’s neck resemble “therapeutic” tattoo spots corresponding to acupuncture points used to relieve neck pain.’

Acupuncture points tattooed on the body 1,000 years ago?  Wow, I don’t care what anyone says – that’s more than a little advanced.  Today we all pat ourselves on the back because we can access the internet on our mobile phones, but hell, mummification, tattooing and knowledge of acupuncture points kind of indicates pretty educated and advanced cultures from long before any of us were ever around.  I’m sure that’s only the tip of the iceberg, too.  Actually,  I’m surprised that these cultures had time to tattoo and learn different acupuncture points.  After all, when you’re dealing with mummies, I can see it being really easy to get all “wrapped up” in your work!  Get it?  Wrapped up? Hahaha haha, oh man, that’s rich.

Anyway, I thought I’d drop some science on y’all today, along with your daily dose of tattoo info.  If you’re interested in learning more about these mummies and their crazy tattoos, then you should check out this article and this one as well.

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