The importance of the body has changed considerably from prehistoric times all the way through the age of the Greeks since going from a matriarchy to a patriarchy. Starting with prehistory, the Venus of Willendorf, (a small statue of a woman) portrays what people of that time cared about most, which is fertility. Many other identical figurines were discovered at the same time the first one was found. The emphasis on these statues directly correlate with the birthing and feeding process for a babe. The figurines emphasize the breast and waist part of the body, which leads to the conclusion that fertility was the most important aspect of life during that time period. The reason for this culture to focus on fertility being the most important thing about the body is probably the fact that mortality rates were very high at the time. As time went by into the Sumerian era we can note from the Enumma Elish, which is considered the oldest written story from the second millennium B.C., that the goddess Tiamat played an important role in shaping the views of how special the body can be. Not only did she birth the first of the younger god’s, but her body was considered life giving in the sense that when she was murdered her body was turned into earth and the heavens. If somebody thought a goddess that she believed in was literally the heaven’s she gazed upon, and the earth that she walked upon, then of course she would view that her own body may hold special qualities to a certain extent.
Traveling forward into the times of the Egyptians we can easily identify that the Egyptians thought the pharaoh’s body was without a doubt one of the most sacred things in their culture by taking a look at the pyramids. The reasoning for the pyramids were so that when the pharaoh died he could be resurrected. The reason why Egyptians went to this extent was that the pharaoh was considered a god in human form to the people. When the pharaoh died certain appointed people took a great deal of time in making sure that his body was to be properly entombed so that the kingdom may prosper another day. If the pyramids aren’t a big enough achievement to show how important the body can be perceived then I have no idea what is. Going into the Greek culture the human body seemed to be more revered at this point in time