The History Of Kissing: Why Do We Kiss Each Other And Where Did It Come From?

By Karen Harris
Frescoes of the Baronial Hall (15th century), detail, Della Manta Castle, Manta (Cuneo), Piedmont. Italy, 13th–16th century. (DeAgostini/Getty Images)

From a long, passionate kiss to a peck on the cheek to a smooch goodbye, kissing is a key component of our culture and an important ingredient in our relationships. But when did humans first start locking lips, and why? Not all cultures in history practiced kissing, so it seems like it must be something more than instinctual. Whatever the case, the history of kissing goes back much further than our modern notions of love and manners.