World oldest tattoo tool found in North America

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : The trend of tattoo has been there in the world since time immemorial. Lately, archeologists have discovered the oldest tattoo tool which dates back to nearly 2,000 years ago. Experts say that it is the ancient tool used in western North America. 

Study reveals that the tool was made sometime around 2,000 years ago by the Ancestral Pueblo people of the Basketmaker II period. It has handle of skunkbush and a cactus-spine business end which clearly indicates the archaic era and the custom of ancient Utah.

Till date, several similar tattoo implements from the U.S. Southwest made around 900 years ago. But this new discovery is something interesting. Microscope and chemical analyses determined that the stains likely contain carbon, a common element in ancient and modern tattooing. Experiments with replicas of the Utah artifact determined that the instruments could incise lines of charcoal-based ink onto fresh pig skin.

"The residue staining from tattoo pigments on the tip was what immediately piques my interest as being possibly a tattoo tool, "Gillreath-Brown said.

Gillreath-Brown analyzed the tips with a scanning electron microscope, X-ray flourescence and enery dispersive ray spectroscopy. 

Further, Gillreath-Brown added, "the finding has a great significance for understanding how people managed relationships and how status may have been marked on people in the past during a time when population densities were increasing in the Southwest.”