Results tagged “Otzi the Iceman”
Credit: South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology/Eurac/Samadelli/Staschitz.
One of the biggest recent tattoo news stories was about an ancient man and a new discovery about his tattoos. In the excellent report, "Scan finds new tattoos on 5300-year-old Iceman," Aaron Deter-Wolf discusses how a new examination of Otzi the Iceman found a previously unrecorded group of tattoos consisting of "four parallel lines between 20 and 25 mm long and are invisible to the naked eye," which researchers have added to complete the catalog of all of Otzi's tattoos. As Aaron notes, "While the different combinations of lines in Otzi's tattoos may have held some underlying symbolic meaning, it appears that their function was primarily medicinal or therapeutic." Further to this, he discusses Dr. Lars Krutak's writings on Otzi:
In his 2012 book Spiritual Skin: Magical Tattoos and Scarification, anthropologist Dr. Lars Krutak documents an experiment in which Colin Dale of Skin & Bone Tattoo in Copenhagen determined that hand-poked tattoos applied to acupuncture points using a bone needle "could produce a sustained therapeutic effect," successfully relieving ailments such as rheumatism, tinnitus, and headaches. [...]Read Aaron's article here.
For more on tattoo history, there's a piece recently published, entitled "The Last Tattooed Women of Kobane," which explores the stories behind photojournalist Jodi Hilton's portraits of women from Kobane, Syria, (shown above) and their regional facial tattoos called "deq." It's a fascinating Q&A. Here's a taste:
Many women reported being tattooed by a "nomad" or a "gypsy woman," and these traveling tattoo artists may well have dispersed the tradition. But some of the designs are unique, possibly referring to pre-Islamic religions that are, in some way, still in the hearts of some Kurdish people.See more of Jodi's portraits and read her story here.
I found it fitting, on this Holocaust Remembrance Day, to share the story of Auschwitz survivor Elie Buzyn and his reflections on the prison number tattoo he received at the hands of the Nazis 70 years ago. He told EuroNews:
"To me, this number was my parents' grave stone. You do not walk around with your grandparents' or parents' grave stone on your back to show 'look, I had my father, my mother, they died here, here is the stone!' For me, symbolically, that's what it was. "And so I decided to take it off, to take it off, but only if I could keep it."Cosmopolitan mag posted on a beautiful, tear-inducing video (below) featuring Freedom Tattoo, a program in Poland that helps women who were once incarcerated cover their prison tattoos with more artful ones. As one women says, after replacing her crude handpoked work with beautiful roses, "I am a woman. Now I can take another step, and this is fantastic because now I don't have to be locked up anymore in that gray world that held me back." The video made me cry, but I highly recommend taking a look as a reminder at how wonderfully transformative tattoos can be.
There are few things that I love more than the timbre of a Glaswegian accent and the amazing production-value of RadioLab... So when they focused on James Dickson and his discovery of Otzi the "Tattooed Iceman," I was in podcast heaven.
While they don't spend a lot of time focusing on his extensive tattooing, it's a fascinating piece about forensic archeology (and a reminder that tattoos aren't just for "sailors and bikers").
I would encourage you to stream the podcast here and also read their accompanying blog-post here.
Abstract Tattoo by Amanda Wachob of DareDevil Tattoo.
I got some private messages last week admitting a forbidden love for the truly WTF tattoo galleries linked to in the news review, so before I get to the real newsworthy items, I'll satisfy more guilty pleasures with this first one:
It's a fun photo essay that includes Joe Letz's flying penis tattoo on his leg, the Hawaiian shark teeth on Brent Hind's face, and Jeffree Star's JonBenet Ramsey & Sharon Tate portraits.
To cleanse that frightening bunch outta ya mind, check out the exciting tattoo artistry of Amanda Wachob of DareDevil Tattoo, who experiments with abstract forms and conceptual design but can also do a solid, clean traditional tattoo. I met Amanda at our launch party Friday and she told me about an abstract tattoo project she's working on -- also mentioned on DevilCity Press -- where 8-10 people will be chosen to get a large tattoo, free. More details on that coming up later this week.
Amanda's conceptual art got me thinking of the lines and dots found on the oldest recorded tattooed person: Otzi the Iceman; however, a recent news item discusses how his tattoos have proved to be medicinal, not aesthetic. The article explains:
"There are groups of one, two, three, four and seven tattoo lines parallel to the longitudinal axis of the body, and so they're parallel to Chinese acupuncture meridians." The cross-shaped tattoo on his knee, and another one on his left ankle, also lay over Chinese acupuncture "trigger points," the researchers believe. Strengthening their argument is the fact that the soot-made markings are located on parts of the iceman's body not typical for tattoo displays, diminishing the notion that they served a more ornamental, aesthetic function.See a video on how the first tattoos were created.
Despite the millennia of tattoo history, many still think it's an unsavory fad. Here's yet another weekly news item on tattoo discrimination -- this time, an Ohio town does not think tattoos are a "fit."
But this prejudice is not so surprising after also reading weekly stories of idiots who use the art as a gimmick like this guy who got a tattoo to win a PalmPre phone. Of course, with the cost of the tattoo (and subsequent lasering I'm sure), he coulda just bought the PalmPre and been spared our mockery. Mock, mock, mock.
Some may also mock this dude above who proposed marriage -- permanently -- but today I'm feelin the love and just grateful that Caroline said "Yes." Now, let's hope the marriage lasts.
Cleveland.com has a new feature called Tat Chat where they "celebrate body art" and "find folks with interesting tattoos and the often even more interesting stories behind them."
My favorite blog find this past week, however, was Coolhunting.com post on Carlos Alvarez Montero, and his photographs of the counterculure in NYC and Mexico City -- particularly the heavily tattooed.
Quick & Dirty Link time...