Part 2 – Moving to a time when fully modern humans began producing representational art for the first time in human history and possibly choosing their own forms of body modification, we find circumstantial evidence for the dawn of tattooing in the Upper Paleolithic. From the Grottes du Mas d’Azil, or Cave of the Azil Farmhouse, in Southern France, comes a corpus of tools excavated in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Pigment stained bones used for crushing and mixing, along with exceedingly gracile bone needles were excavated from layers in the cave dating to 12,000 years BP. Although bone needles are not unknown in excavations from this time period, these needles possessed the unique trait of having a fine groove or channel carved into them, down to their tips.In addition, accompanying the needles was an interesting cache of ochre paste in the form of a thick plate that had apparently been perforated several times by these grooved needles. The excavators concluded that they were the ideal implements for repeatedly taking a small amount of pigment into the groove in order to “channel ink into the flesh,” and explicitly called them tattoo tools. Again, we can only speculate on what the meaning and purpose of this type of body modification might have held for these early peoples. If we look to what is known historically about tattooing though, we can say that globally tattooing has served incredibly varied purposes in many different ancient cultures: a visible sign of a rite of passage, protection from evil, medical therapy, marking prisoners, showing allegiance, frightening enemies, creating sex appeal, displaying status and wealth, and even gaining entrance to the afterlife, to name only a few. The excavators also noted that body adornment in general, including body painting and wearing ornaments, seemed important to the occupants of the Azil cave, as did the production of the types of wall paintings for which the Upper Paleolithic is famous.