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Ancient Polynesians used obsidian tools to tattoo

15 obsidian artifacts found in the Solomon Islands suggest that the ancient islanders used them to tattoo. One potential way to learn more about prehistoric tattooing is to unearth the tools used to make the markings. However, until now, archaeologists had discovered few ancient tattooing implements, likely because perishable materials were

New tattoos found on Ötzi the Iceman

New technology has revealed previously unknown tattoos on Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old mummy found Frozen in the Alps in 1991. Samadelli and colleagues were able to detect a previously unrecorded group of tattoos on Ötzi’s lower right rib cage. Those marks consist of four parallel lines between 20 and 25

Hospital scans reveal tattoo on Egyptian mummy

New analysis carried out on a 1,300-year-old Egyptian mummy has revealed a clear picture of a tattoo on the woman's inner thigh. he tattoo represents the symbol of the Archangel Michael, who features in both the Old and New Testaments. The symbol has previously been found in ancient churches and on

2,500-year-old tattooed princess to go on display

A mummified 2,500-year-old princess, with beautiful tattoos all over her body, is set to go on display this month at a Russian museum. [Thanks to Katya for the link!] The well-preserved mummy, known as the Ukok princess, was found by a scientist in the permafrost of the Altai Mountains near the

Prehistoric men tattooed and pierced their penises

New research has revealed that prehistoric men in Europe would tattoo and pierce their penises. Many of the marks are geometric shapes, such as triangles or circles. Some designs appear to match those of figures seen within Paleolithic cave art from the same regions. This suggests that the symbols may have

Andean mummy tattoos marked acupuncture points

Pretty tatoos found on a 1,000-year-old Andean mummy may have been used to mark accupuncture points. The female mummy in the study is much more recent, from about 1,000 B.C., and bore tattooed animals like "birds, apes, reptiles in addition to symbols." Rings were tattooed on four of the fingers

The history of Yakuza tattoos

Tattoo5 has posted a detailed history of Yakuza tattoos, including an interesting timeline. Later in the 8th century, the oldest book of classical Japanese history – the Nohon Shoki, relates the story of the Emperor punishing a traitor by having his face tattooed. The Japanese had, by this time, come under the

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