It's no secret that body modification dates back centuries, however, it's an extremely rare occasion to come across a 2,000-year-old tattoo tool. While looking through a storage closet at Washington State University, P.h.D candidate Andrew Gillreath-Brown discovered a pre-historic object that experts identify as a tattoo tool of the Ancestral Pueblo people.
The Ancestral Pueblo people fashioned this tool out of cactus spines, sumac tree stem, and yucca leaf strips—with remnants of black ink still visible on the prickly spikes. Studies suggest that this is the oldest tattoo artifact found in North America, predating previous artifacts by nearly 1,000 years. The second oldest North American tattoo tools were found in Arizona and New Mexico, dating back only 920 to 740 years.
While other cultures, such as ancient Egypt, have tattoo tools and relics which date back much further than what was discovered on Washington State's campus, this discovery does help to paint the picture of how body art can be traced back throughout North America. And this tool truly is a testament to how far modern tattooing has come and where we will go next. What do you think of this ancient tattoo tool? Were you impressed by this discovery? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section.