This article is part of the O&P Wiki.
Burning the skin with a mark to indicate the status of property (or criminal conviction in some cases.) As with livestock, branding slaves has a long history.
The Babylonian "Code of Hammurabi" from 1780 BC recorded laws regulating the branding of slaves (and penalties for surgeons obscuring such brands), and this image shows a bronze branding iron with the cunieform characters for "I am his slave", apparently from 2000-1800 BC.
As largely permanent marks, brands identifying owners are unsuitable if the owner is likely to change. However, the mark can carry other information. For example, the Roman practice of branding recaptured slave fugitives with "FVG"; and the branding of African slaves to be shipped to the Americas with a symbol for their port of origin, or the company that exported them.
With the growth of modern body modification, branding is a small but
increasingly common practice within the ownership subculture.
This article is published under the terms of the GFDL. The contributors to this article were: 139-715-032, Tanos
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