A team of anthropologists was finally able to decode the 61 tattoos on the body of Ötzi, the Iceman, a mummy who died around 3,300 BC. Ötzi was found in the Alps on the border of Austria and Italy 1991, but until now, scientists haven’t been able to make out his tattoos, due in part to his age-darkened skin. These tattoos are among the oldest ever found on humans.
Marco Samadelli, part of EURAC, used photography of ultraviolet rays to see Ötzi’s full range of tattoos for the first time, and to map them on his body.// The tattoos ranged in size from 0.1 to 1.57 inches. Nineteen of the tattoos were found in close-together clusters, many in rows of parallel lines. Two cross-like tattoos were also discovered on his right knee and ankle – this Iceman was clearly a goth living long before his time. A scientific study has been released detailing the anthropologists’ process and results. In the study, the team writes that this new information could be helpful in understanding the purpose of tattooing in Ötzi’s Copper Age society.
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