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A Brief History of Tattooing

Tattooing has been widely popularized across the globe from the twentieth century to present. Today, it seems as if nearly almost everyone you meet has, or at least used to have, one or more tattoos. In fact, today forty percent of Americans have tattoos when just in 1999, that number was only twenty-one percent. But this is an ancient art form that has been occurring for thousands of years. Many cultures in many different parts of the world marked their bodies for a variety of purposes, personal and cultural. Lexington Tattoo Removal offers you some insight about this age-old ritual that has permeated our culture through to today.

Evidence of Tattooing
Evidence of tattoos dates back to thousands of years, the earliest evidence being traced back 5,200 years. This discovery was made by finding Ötzi the Iceman, a frozen mummified body near the Italian-Austrian border. Thanks to archaeology, evidence for tattooing has been found on mummified skin, tattooing tools, and even on art such as sculptures that depict bodies with markings on them. For example, evidence that women wore tattoos on their bodies was suggested from figurines from 4000-3500 B.C. and occasional female figures represented in tomb scenes around 1200 B.C. These are examples from ancient Egypt, where tattooing was popularized among Egyptian women.

Functions of Tattoos
Tattoos had many different functions and purposes for many cultures. For many, it was more serious than just tattooing an image that was considered to be appealing. In some cultures, a tattoo was used to symbolize your social status. In Japan, for example, criminals were tattooed as a visible sign of punishment by the early 17th century. In addition, manual laborers, firemen, and prostitutes wore tattoos to symbolize social rank. Some cultures practiced tattooing because they believed it provided some type of protection or therapy. In Egypt, tattooing for women may have served a therapeutic role during challenging parts of pregnancy and childbirth. In Thailand, animistic tattooing was practiced for good luck. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, tattoos were put on American sailor’s bodies to identify them if they became lost at sea, marking themselves with their initials, important dates, and symbols.

Tattooing Today
By the early nineteenth century, it is apparent that tattooing became a form a self-expression, especially in North America and Europe. The earliest recorded professional tattoo artist in America was Martin Hildebrandt, an immigrant from Germany who came to Boston, Massachusetts in 1846. In the early 1900s, circus acts with tattooed ladies and men became a popular attraction. Since the 1970s, tattoos have widely increased in popularity in Western cultures, but also in several other countries. Today, modern tattooing is largely a form of self-expression, whether people choose to mark their bodies with meaningful text or beautiful imagery. It is interesting that no matter what the purpose, humans have made marking their bodies a practice for thousands of years now.

With tattooing being so widely practiced today, mistakes can happen and it’s okay to change your mind. At Lexington Tattoo Removal, we want to make your tattoo removal process as easy as possible. Serving Lexington, Kentucky and surrounding areas, we offer many different services to accommodate your unique situation. Contact us for a free consultation today and see that a tattoo doesn’t have to last forever.