making their mark tattooing and scarification in the aegean bronze age

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  • Slide 1
  • Making Their Mark Tattooing and Scarification in the Aegean Bronze Age
  • Slide 2
  • Neolithic Tattooing and Scarification Figure 1 Figure 2 Female seated clay figurine from Late Neolithic, Franchthi Cave. (Left) Kourotrophic clay figurine from Late Neolithic. Found in Thessaly. (Right)
  • Slide 3
  • Early Cycladic I Period Early Cycladic marble figure from Keros, Kavos (Left) Early Cycladic marble figure. No known find spot. (Middle) Early Cycladic marble figure from Keros, Kavos (Right)
  • Slide 4
  • Early Cycladic I Period British Museum At least 5 rows of dots across forehead 9 or more rows across the cheeks, which then continue below nose Back of head blue-on-red dots bordered what appeared to be a square which indicated hair that is no longer visible NY Private Collection 2 rows of dots across forehead As many as 7 rows on cheeks 2 rows of faint dots on chin Down nose is stripe (also blue- over-red)
  • Slide 5
  • Plank Figures Single-headed plank figure from Lapithos, tomb 201 (Left) Cradle plank figure. Unknown origin. (Right)
  • Slide 6
  • Sphinx Head Cult Center at Mycenae Plaster head Painting Style and colors reminiscent of fresco paintings 4 dot rosettes forehead, each check, and chin
  • Slide 7
  • The Sphinx Head
  • Slide 8
  • House of Idols
  • Slide 9
  • Materials/Tools Obsidian Copper pins Awls Stone palettes and pestles Mini-arbioloi Bone tubes Pigments cinnabar, ochre, azurite, malachite (?)
  • Slide 10
  • Tools Obsidian Blades
  • Slide 11
  • Tools - Copper Needles Tomb nine in cemetery of Early Cycladic I Plastiras Used for tattooing skin
  • Slide 12
  • Tools - Awls Small pointed tool used for piercing holes Tomb 26 from the Early Bronze Age II site Louros Athalassou in southwestern Naxos contained 3 copper or bronze awls Kampos Group cemetery of Ayioi Anargyroi has a small bronze awl Kampos Group cemetery of Ayioi Anargyroi
  • Slide 13
  • Tools - Stone Pestles and Palettes Tomb 356 in Chalandriani (EBA II) Grinding and preparing pigments for tattooing
  • Slide 14
  • Tools - Mini-arbioloi Special ceramic container for pigments Tomb 26 from the Early Bronze Age II site Louros Athalassou in southwestern Naxos
  • Slide 15
  • Tools Bone Tubes Held pigment Tomb 356 of Chalandriani (EBAII Cycladic)
  • Slide 16
  • Materials - Cinnabar Used to make red coloring Figure from British Museum Rare valuable and symbolically powerful Vibrant color Could turn black with exposure to light; metacinnabar
  • Slide 17
  • Materials - ochre Used to make red color Easily accessible in Aegean
  • Slide 18
  • Materials - azurite Blue pigment Copper mineral Valuable based on how they treated pigment
  • Slide 19
  • Materials - Malachite Green pigment Found in copper ores Rarest used of three colors Not much analysis done on green pigment so not much is known about it and if Malachite was even used to create coloring
  • Slide 20
  • Evidence for Human Tattooing and Scarification Obsidian blades found in grave show evidence of cutting soft to medium-soft substances, which could include skin
  • Slide 21
  • Evidence for Human Tattooing - Egypt Tattooed mummy from Thebes, Egypt from late 3 rd millennium
  • Slide 22
  • Location and Meaning Location of motifs as well as what the motif was most likely had some sort of significance Belly tied to pregnancy? Protection for mother and child? Zigzags and nonanatomical eyes Nonanatomical eyes bring more attention to area. More sight power? Zigzags upper arm or legs Bring attention, more strength? Tribal, community, or individual identification?
  • Slide 23
  • Purpose for Tattooing Purpose is not certain, but there are theories Form of identification that accompanied an increase of contact with outside cultures Mark personal events, status, or record crucial messages, often accompanied rituals
  • Slide 24
  • Issues With Evidence Tattoos/Scarification or clothes or body paint? It would not seem likely a zigzag pattern would have survived from Neolithic to Early Cycladic as a tattoo design. More likely it would represent a belt, which would have existed in both time periods