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The Art of Tattoos

            The practice of tattooing means different things in different cultures. In early practice, decoration appears to have been the most common motive for tattooing, and that still holds true today. In some cultures, tattoos served as identification of the wearer's rank or status in a group. .
             The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian "tatu" which means, "to mark something". Finding information about Tahitian tattooing I found difficult. The little knowledge of Tahitian tattooing in pre-contact times is quite limited. There are only a dozen or so descriptions of the art and even fewer illustrations. The art of tattooing has been around for centuries. As far as we know, the history of tattooing starts in ancient Egypt and the most well preserved examples are ancient Egyptian mummies. There is no word for tattooing found in ancient Egyptian, but lines of text have been found referring to tattooing as "inscribing" which can also be translated as "etched" or "engraved." .
             I found another part of history that I found interesting, which is about an Iceman named "Ötzi-. In 1992, at the very border of Austria and Italy, high up in the Alp Mountains, the body of a man was found, and as they realized that he was more than 5000 years old. Ötzi the Iceman has been under ice for all those years, so his body, clothes and equipment was extraordinarily well preserved. 59 tattoos have been counted on his body. His tattoos were only simple dots and little lines. .
             Scientist was even more surprised that the back and leg tattoos were on or near typical acupuncture points for treating back and leg pain. X-rays showed evidence of arthritis in Ötzi that might have responded to acupuncture. But there's a problem with this theory: Acupuncture is believed to have originated in China 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. But because of Ötzi, some scientists now think that acupuncture (or at least an acupuncture type of medical system) was practiced 5,300 years ago a long, long way from China.

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