Joan Fletcher, a research fellow in the department of archaeology at the University of York in Britain, describes the earliest illustrations of body art, “In terms of tattoos on actual bodies, the earliest known examples were for a long time Egyptian and were present on several female mummies dated to c. 2000 B.C. But following the more recent discovery of the Iceman from the area of the Italian-Austrian border in 1991 and his tattoo patterns, this date has been pushed back a further thousand years when he was carbon-dated at around 5,200 years old” (Lineberry, 2007).
Fletcher also indicates that the mummies and bodies that have been recovered, many have been covered in tattoos. It is hypothesized that tattooing in ancient Egypt was an exclusively female practice (Lineberry, 2007). The mummies found with tattoos were usually dismissed by the male excavators as "dancing girls”, but despite the assumption, the mummies held royal and elite burials, and historians and excavators know that at least one of the women described as "probably a royal concubine" was actually a high-status priestess named Amunet, as revealed by her funerary inscriptions (Lineberry, 2007). Today, some people associate tattoos and piercings as lower class, a dumb idea, or only worn by derelicts, and those ideologies were... [continues]
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