Oldest tattoo tool in western North America

ScienceDaily | 2/28/2019 | Staff
marika (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2019/02/190228093612_1_540x360.jpg

With a handle of skunkbush and a cactus-spine business end, the tool was made around 2,000 years ago by the Ancestral Pueblo people of the Basketmaker II period in what is now southeastern Utah.

Andrew Gillreath-Brown, an anthropology PhD candidate, chanced upon the pen-sized instrument while taking an inventory of archaeological materials that had been sitting in storage for more than 40 years.

Author - Paper - Tattoo - Tool - Today

He is the lead author of a paper on the tattoo tool which was published today in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

His discovery pushes back the earliest evidence of tattooing in western North America by more than a millennium and gives scientists a rare glimpse into the lives of a prehistoric people whose customs and culture have largely been forgotten.

Tattooing - People - Southwest - Evidence - Gillreath-Brown

"Tattooing by prehistoric people in the Southwest is not talked about much because there has not ever been any direct evidence to substantiate it," Gillreath-Brown, 33, said. "This tattoo tool provides us information about past Southwestern culture we did not know before."

Tattooing is an artform and mode of expression common to many indigenous cultures worldwide. However, little is known about when or why the practice began.

Case - Places - United - States - Tattoos

This is especially the case in places like the southwestern United States, where no tattoos have been identified on preserved human remains and there are no ancient written accounts of the practice.

Instead, archaeologists have relied on visual depictions in ancient artwork and the identification of tattoo implements to trace the origins of tattooing in the region.

Spine - Tattoo - Tools - Arizona

Previously, bundled and hafted, or handled, cactus spine tattoo tools from Arizona...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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