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Body piercing, a form of body modification, is the practice of puncturing or cutting a part of the human body, creating an opening in which jewellery may be worn.

The oldest mummified remains ever discovered were sporting earrings, attesting to the existence of the practice more than 5,000 years ago.Nose piercing is documented as far back as 1500 BC.Piercings of these types have been documented globally, while lip and tongue piercings were historically found in African and American tribal cultures. The practice of body piercing has waxed and waned in Western culture, but it has experienced an increase of popularity since World War II, with sites other than the ears gaining subcultural popularity in the 1970s and spreading to mainstream in the 1990s.Nipple and genital piercing have also been practiced by various cultures, with nipple piercing dating back at least to Ancient Rome while genital piercing is described in Ancient India c. The reasons for piercing or not piercing are varied.His pamphlet Body & Genital Piercing in Brief included such commonly reproduced urban legends as the notion that Prince Albert invented the piercing that shares his name in order to diminish the appearance of his large penis in tight trousers, and that Roman centurions attached their capes to nipple piercings.

Ear piercing has been practiced all over the world since ancient times.There is considerable written and archaeological evidence of the practice.Mummified bodies with pierced ears have been discovered, including the oldest mummified body discovered to date, the 5,300-year-old Ötzi the Iceman, which was found in a glacier in Austria. In Genesis 35:4, Jacob buries the earrings worn by members of his household along with their idols.Some people pierce for religious or spiritual reasons, while others pierce for self-expression, for aesthetic value, for sexual pleasure, to conform to their culture or to rebel against it.Some forms of piercing remain controversial, particularly when applied to youth.The display or placement of piercings have been restricted by schools, employers and religious groups.