An ancient tattoo kit


Polynesian tools, some made from human bone, discovered.


Some of the 2700-year-old tattoo tools.

Langley, et al

That would have hurt. These are the remains of the oldest tattoo kit ever discovered.

The tools, some of which are fashioned from human bones, were discovered on on Tongatapu Island, the main island of the Polynesian nation of Tonga.

Radiocarbon dating puts them at 2700 years old.

The find is described by researchers led by Michelle Langley from Griffith University in Australia in the Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology.

“The discovery of early tattooing implements is exceptionally rare,” she says. “So, to find an entire kit is phenomenal. We very rarely find a whole kit of any type of tools in the archaeological record.”

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15564894.2018.1561558
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