A Brief Look at the History of Body Piercing

by | Mar 25, 2019 | Jewelry

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It might come to a surprise to some that body piercing is not a new concept. Actually, using piercing tools to modify the body is an ancient practice. Although it may have meant something different back then, many of the techniques carry on to today. Learn how body piercing has evolved since the the beginning of recorded history.

The Oldest Information

A few decades ago, the oldest mummy ever discovered was found with piercing marks. This mummy, known as Otzi, was a human who lived around 3,000 BC. Interestingly, the earlobes of this mummy displayed holes which were likely to be piercings. Modern scientists and archeologists believe these holes are some of the earliest signs of piercing by ancient civilizations.

Many other famous historical people also had piercings. There is evidence that King Tut wore earrings in accordance with ancient Egyptian culture. Records also show that Julius Caesar was a regular user of earrings. Later in time, the practice became associated with nobility and was used to distinguish members of higher classes.

Ear lobes weren’t the only thing to get pierced. Piercing tools were also used to add jewelry to the nose and septum. Nose piercings were commonly used in the Middle East to hold bridal jewelry. Tribes, like the Aztecs, used septum piercings to show off jewelry that represented different gods. Today, septum piercings are still used by people in Nepal and Tibet. In modern times, it’s more likely that these delicate procedures can be performed with contemporary piercing tools.

Modern Day techniques

In today’s world, piercing continues to be a way to mark oneself with distinction. Piercing is largely used for beauty and aesthetic purposes in the Western world. However, some cultures across the globe still use piercing for religious or ceremonial purposes. In this sense, the traditional uses of piercing still continue today.

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