CARTA: Permanent Body Modification: Archaeological and Early Historical Evidence with Brea McCauley

2/23/2024; 19 minutes

Today, permanent body modification (PBM) is very popular. Studies suggest that well over a billion living people have experienced one or more types of PBM. But what is the history of PBM? When did the different types originate? Were they invented recently, or do they have a long history? Did they appear simultaneously or at different times? This presentation examines evidence in non-human animals and extinct hominins, delving into early archaeological and historical records of seven main PBM types: tattooing, scarification, amputation, piercing, genital modification, dental modification, and bone shaping. Strong evidence supports human PBM for at least 15,000 years, with intriguing hints suggesting a history dating back as far as 80,000 years. (#39467)

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