This is a simple sized contemporary pen: two parallel spikes of cacti, painted black on the tips and trimmed with split pebbles up to 89 mm (3.5 inches) handle skunkbrush sums But its simplicity hides its significance. Sometimes, at the beginning of the common era, the face of Pueblo's ancestors, living in south-eastern Utah, got a black tattoo. 2000 years later archaeologists unearthed the needle, and 40 years after that, Andrew Gilest-Brown found him in a box in a museum storehouse, and the ink still dyed the tips of the needle of the spine of the cactus.
black pigment under a scanning electron microscope for a better view of its crystalline structure, and he analyzed his chemical composition using X-ray fluorescence. This proved to be a high carbon content, which is still true for many body colors and tattoo paints used today. For 2000, this tool is the oldest tattoo tool ever discovered in the western part of North America and is the key to a part of the prehistoric culture of North America, which archaeologists still know very little about.
Tattoos have played an important role in many cultures all over the world, but anthropologists do not understand how much they would like about the origin of the artistic form. This is partly because so few testimonials remain, and that the little ones we can see are sometimes just so enigmatic as the tattoos of a stranger may be today.
Otzi, a man who died about 5,000 years ago and ended up mummified in the Alpine glacier, had an extremely well-preserved set of tattoos that, depending on their location, could be the product of the western version of acupuncture. But we can not be sure, because neither the Fathers nor his artist tattoos left us a note about their significance. In the southwestern part of the United States, where archeologists have never found the remains of ancient people with tattoos, we know even less about the prehistoric art of the body, as it was done, and what it meant for its carriers.
This is a significant step forward, because so much detail about the life and culture of the people of Pueblo's ancestors, as well as other cultures of the south-western USA from the same period of time, have been lost throughout the century. We know that they were hunter-gatherers until, until shortly before 500 BC. E., When they began to grow corn and settle in a more sedentary way of life in the houses. We know that they made baskets and painted excellent figures and symbols on the rocks around the American southwest. But a few drops of ink at the end of the needle give a much more personal touch with these ancient people.
Journal of Archeology: Reports 2019. DOI: 10.1016 / j.jasrep.2019.02 .015 (About DOI).