September 30, 2021
Virtual with Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
Virtual - 2021 Speaker Series: The Archaeology of Tattooing in North America and Beyond
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Speaker: Aaron Deter-Wolf, Prehistoric Archaeologist, Tennessee Division of Archaeology. The practice of tattooing the skin dates back at least 5,000 years before present, and preserved marks on mummified remains demonstrate the existence of tattoo traditions in numerous ancient cultures from around the globe. Despite this antiquity and prevalence, the material culture of tattooing has been largely overlooked by archaeologists. Until recently there were very few definitive identifications of ancient tattooing tools or related artifacts in archaeological collections. This pattern has recently shifted, and since 2018 scholars have identified a series of artifacts that demonstrate tattooing in North America extends to at least the second millennium BCE. This program by Aaron Deter-Wolf of the Tennessee Division of Archaeology will discuss how archaeologists uncover and interpret evidence of tattooing, and describe recent discoveries from North America and beyond.