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The tattoo tool bundle unearthed at Fernvale, Tennessee, USA. This is the oldest tattoo toolkit discovered to date.

Turkey Bones, Shells, and Pigment: Signs of the Oldest Tattoo Kit in the World

About 3,600 years ago, someone decided to bury a collection of sharpened turkey bones and mussel shells. The items were unearthed in 1985 and then forgotten for almost three decades. However, a...
A cross-shaped tattoo on Ötzi's knee.

Acupuncture for the Iceman: Did Ötzi Get Inked for Health?

Ötzi the iceman was discovered in the Oetz Valley, Austria, in 1991 by some German tourists. When this 5,300-year-old mummy was first found it was believed the frozen corpse belonged to a soldier who...
Modern interpretation of a Viking with a tattoo. (Public Domain) Background: Portal from a stave church, exhibited at historisk museum Oslo Norway.

Were Norsemen Tattooed? Evidence of Ink on the Rugged Rusiyyah

Did the Norsemen of Scandinavia have tattoos? Did runic script adorn their arms as they sailed their longships down fjords? While material remains offer few clues, one piece of historical evidence...
“The Painted Ones” hand-colored version of Theodor de Bry’s engraving of a Pict woman who is either painted or tattooed.

Power, Perils and Rites of Passage – The History of the Female Tattoo

Emily Poelina-Hunter / The Conversation Almost a quarter of Australian women now have tattoos - a trend some attribute to the influence of feminism. What I find interesting is that the mainstreaming...
Tattooed Owners of the World's Oldest Carpets Get Health Check After 2,200 Years

Tattooed Owners of the World's Oldest Carpets Get Health Check After 2,200 Years

By The Siberian Times reporter A mummified potentate and his wife were found in a burial mound 42 metres in diameter. They went to the next life alongside nine saddled and harnessed geldings. Now,...
Locals in Thailand Village Claim Black Magic Tattoos Helped Preserve the Skin of a Corpse

Locals in Thailand Village Claim Black Magic Tattoos Helped Preserve the Skin of a Corpse

A group of cemetery workers clearing a graveyard in Thailand near the Laos border were shocked to excavate the corpse of a man whose skin had been preserved , as if by magic. In fact, some people...
Mummy of the Ukok Princess/Siberian Ice Maiden. Tattoos line her arms.

Ancient Ink: Mummies and Their Amazing Tattoos

Tattoos have played a role in the lives of prehistoric and modern man alike. Societal status, art, religion, and medicine all create a tradition in tattoo design that spans across centuries and...
Women of Rennell Island in the Solomons, drawn by Norman H. Hardy

Ancient Tattoos: Archaeologists find Blood and Pigments on 3,000-Year-Old Obsidian

Australian archaeologists have examined prehistoric obsidian tools from the Nanngu site in the Solomon Islands and have determined they may have been used for tattooing people. The 3,000-year-old...
Goddess Council 4900-4750 BC Neolithic Culture of Cucuteni-Tripolye exposed in Cucuteni Museum of Piatra Neamt

Ancient Ink: How Tattoos Can Reveal Hidden Stories of Past Cultures

The English word tattoo is commonly said to be derived from the Polynesian word tatau or tatu . This Polynesian word means ‘to mark something’. Additionally, this word is an onomatopoeia, and is...
A Māori warrior.

Mokomokai: Preservation of the Tattooed Maori Heads of New Zealand

Mokomokai are preserved heads that are produced by the Māoris of New Zealand. These are not just any heads, but heads that have been decorated by moko. Moko is a traditional art form practiced by the...
Ancient Tattoos of the Pazyryk Nomads

The Stunning Ancient Tattoos of the Pazyryk Nomads

Archaeologists made a stunning discovery in Russia when they uncovered mummies bearing intricate tattoos on their bodies. The mummified remains belong to members of the Pazyryk tribe. Originating in...
Egyptian mummies with tattoo of Archangel Michael

High-tech scans of ancient mummies revealed tattoo of Archangel Michael

In 2014, a team of scientists in London carried out high-tech scanning on eight Egyptian mummies from the British Museum, uncovering fascinating information about them, including the revelation that...
Otzi Tattoos

Ancient Medical Knowledge Is Written in the Skin

According to legend, twelve thousand years ago in western China the Sons of Reflected light came down from the skies. They were a strange race said to be seven feet tall and wearing clothing like...