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Acupuncture tattoos found on Mummies

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May 3, 2012 in Entertainment, Science, Technology, Weird News, World News


A mummy, named “Otzi the Iceman” was discovered in northern Italy in 1991.  He lived over  5,300 years ago and was found to have tattoos along the known acupuncture channels, leading scientists to postulate about a significantly earlier and worldwide use of medicinal practices similar to Chinese medicine.


Ötzi had several carbon tattoos including groups of short, parallel, vertical lines to both sides of the lumbar spine, a cruciform mark behind the right knee, and various marks around both ankles. Radiological examination of his bones showed “age-conditioned or strain-induced degeneration” in these areas, including osteochondrosis and slight spondylosis in the lumbar spine and wear-and-tear degeneration in the knee and especially the ankle joints.[23] It has been speculated that these tattoos may have been related to pain relief treatments similar to acupressure or acupuncture. If so, this is at least 2000 years before their previously known earliest use in China (c. 1000 BC).[24]


Here’s a  picture of one of his tattoos.  Scientists found that he had scoliosis through xray imaging.  These tattoos are points that would be used to treat back pain.  He also had a pouch of herbs known to treat digestive disorders. 


The ICEMAN had 47 tattoos covering his body that were considered medicinal tattoos. All of his tattoos were located in acupuncture points all over the body. This indeed was a boggling prospect for scientist who know that acupuncture was invented by the ancient Chinese around the time of the birth and life of Christ. This is 3000 years later then what the Iceman disproves. They determined that his tattoos were done with slivers of bones which then had charcoal rubbed into the open wounds to create a tattoo once the swelling subsided.

You can learn more about “Otzi”  and other acupuncture mummies found in South America by clicking below.


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2 responses to Acupuncture tattoos found on Mummies

  1. Josh said on May 9, 2012

    I wonder how weird he would have found us with our “magic pills”

  2. FEMA said on May 5, 2012

    Yeah, that’s weird.

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