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Origin of Tattoos

Getting inked has a history
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    1Otzi, the ancient ice man found in the Alps, was the oldest mummy ever discovered to have tattoos which would have been done 5,200 years ago Make Your Case
  • 2Clay dolls have been found that indicate the Egyptians used tattoos as early as 4,000 BC. Several Egyptian female mummies dated to around 2,000 BC had tattoos Make Your Case
  • 3Greeks and Romans used tattoos or "stigmata" to mark someone to a religious sect, to an owner in the case of slaves or even to mark convicts Make Your Case
  • 4Around 500 BC, the Japanese began tattooing for both cosmetic and religious purposes Make Your Case
  • 5Ptolemy IV (221-205 BC), was said to have been tattooed with ivy leaves to symbolize his devotion to Dionysus, Greek god of wine and the patron deity of the royal house Make Your Case
  • 6King Harold II of England had several tattoos which were used to identify his body after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 Make Your Case
  • 7During Cook's expedition to Tahiti in 1769, the papers of Joseph Banks (1743-1820), a naturalist aboard the ship noted Polynesian term "tatatau" or "tattau" meaning to hit or strike, becoming "tattoo" Make Your Case
  • 8Samuel O'Reilly invented and patented the first tattoo machine in 1891. He based his design on the autographic printer, an engraving machine invented by Thomas Edison, and remains largely unchanged Make Your Case
  • 9To get a tattoo, the skin is pierced between 50 and 3,000 times a minute by a tattoo machine Make Your Case
  • 10Yakuza members are known for their vast, full-body tattoos, called "irezumi" which are applied with a single needle in the traditional fashion Make Your Case
  • 11Many states banned tattoos entirely during the 1960s with the hysteria of hepatitis outbreaks. It was illegal in New York City from 1961-1997 and Massachusetts until 2000, penalties included jail Make Your Case
  • 12The longest recorded tattoo session lasted 50 hours and 10 minutes Make Your Case
  • 13Americans spend a staggering $1.65 billion on tattoos each year Make Your Case
  • 14Amateur boxer Billy "the Human Billboard" Gibby pays his bills with more than two dozen corporate tattoos, some on his face, including the logos of Liberty Tax Service and Host Gator Make Your Case
  • 15The most tattooed man in the world is Gregory Paul McLaren, aka Lucky Diamond Rich. He is 100% tattooed, including the inside of his foreskin, mouth, and ears Make Your Case

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