Otzi the Iceman: New Tattoos Found

We talk about tattoo history a fair amount on this site, but I think that it’s really cool to be able to trace back how tattooing has grown throughout the centuries. You may have seen already Otzi the Iceman mentioned here before, but if you haven’t you may like to look here.

Basicaly, Otzi the Iceman is one of the earliest examples of tattooing known to man. He offers a real insight into the ways that tattooing was used thousands of years ago, through his brilliantly preserved remains. Otzi seems to be the gift that keeps on giving, as new tattoos have been found recently. It’s really cool to see this; here’s an excerpt from Red Orbit:

Samadelli and colleagues were able to detect a previously unrecorded group of tattoos on Ötzi’s lower right rib cage. Those marks consist of four parallel lines between 20 and 25 mm long and are invisible to the naked eye. According to the authors, these make up “the first tattoo … detected on the Iceman’s frontal part of the torso.”

The researchers also created a complete catalog of Ötzi’s tattoos. These include 19 groups of tattooed lines, for a total of 61 marks ranging from 1 to 3 mm in thickness and 7 to 40 mm in length. With the exception of perpendicular crosses on the right knee and left ankle, and parallel lines around the left wrist, the tattooed lines all run parallel to one another and to the longitudinal axis of the body. The greatest concentration of markings is found on his legs, which together bear 12 groups of lines.

You can read the whole article here. It’s awesome to see new information still coming to light that couldn’t have been possible before. It makes you wonder what else will be discovered. Either way, good job to the guys finding this!


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