May 13, 2018

Oldest Tattoo Kit in the World From a Tennessee Site

A tool kit dated at 1,600 BCE or older containing sharpened turkey bones and mussel shells were unearthed in 1985 in a Native American Cemetery in Tennessee. A pair of researchers took a look at the find beginning in 2013 to study it as an example of a possible medicine bundle. They saw the turkey bones as possible needles and the mussel shells as possible ink pots, when they saw red and black pigments on the shells. They referenced the work of a researcher in Montreal who tattooed pig skin with pre-historic tools to see the markings it left on the tools.  They looked at the artifacts under microscopes and found a bright polish at the tip and saw the same wear patterns as the pigskin tattoo.

The evidence that this is a tattoo kit is now clear. And this would make the Tennessee find the oldest tattoo kit ever found in the world. The previous oldest kit was found at a Lapita site in the Solomon Islands using obsidian pieces dated at 1000 BCE, has the story here;

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient North America News

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