Did you know that there are many ancient superstitions surrounding earrings? Keep reading to find out some fun facts about earrings.
1. They were initially worn primarily by men.
2. A 5,000-year-old body discovered in the Italian Alps revealed that men wore earrings as early as the Bronze Age. The mummy, Ötzi the Iceman, had a 7–11 mm diameter borehole in his earlobe.
3. Friezes from the Persian Empire during the Achaemenid dynasty (550–330 BC), show warriors wearing earrings.
4. It is common for the earlobes of male and female babies in India to be pierced soon after they are born.
5. Some ancient beliefs taught that sickness and evil spirits entered a person’s body through its orifices. To ward these off, amulets were worn at these entryways, including the ears.
6. In the ancient days, doctors also believed that earrings cured headaches and improved eyesight.
7. In the Eastern part of the world, earrings consistently remained popular through the ages, but popularity fluctuated in the Western world over time. For instance, women living during the Middle Ages wore bejeweled headgear, and their hairstyles often covered the ears. As a result, earrings became unnecessary.
8. But in the 16th century, the popularity of earrings came back and dominated the scene. Pearl earrings were especially popular.
9. Men like Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Francis Drake also wore gold rings and other ornaments in their ears.
10. For seamen, a pierced earlobe symbolized a journey around the world or across the equator.
11. Survivors of shipwrecks wore an earring in the left earlobe.
12. Interestingly, sailors often wore earrings made of gold just in case they would need to pay for a Christian burial after being shipwrecked.
13. In England in the late 19th century and early 20th century, due to Victorian morals, piercings were considered vulgar and inappropriate.
14. In the early 20th century, screw-back and clip-back earrings were invented and became popular with women until piercing came back into style in the 1960s.