Tattoos are culturally important in many places, and especially in Pacific Island culture. Researchers haven’t found many well preserved human remains that contain tattoos, but know that the practice is and was widespread.
Glass was available, strong and shapeable
Researchers recreated similar “tattoo tools” using modern obsidian and used them to create tattoos on pigskin over a period of months. Tattooing requires that the skin be broken in order to introduce dyes into open wound.
The ancient glass tools were reshaped to contain specific features, including short, sharp and pointed edges. The researchers created tattoos using materials that would have been commonly available at the time, including charcoal and red ochre.
Once the tools had been used several times, the researchers compared microscopic wear and scratches among both the ancient and modern tools. They found that the glass in both cases showed similar signs of wear. The ancient tools also showed traces of blood, charcoal and ochre.
The finding underscores the importance of the role of glass in ancient cultures that did not have access to metal.
Today, there are better ways of creating tattoos than by using glass! Even if glass has been retired from the stable of options for tattoo work, you can still decorate with glass in other ways.
Glassprimer™ glass paint, for example, offers a great opportunity to create colorful, durable and practical glass installations, including windows, dividers and glass surfaces. Glassprimer™ glass paint is specially designed to make a permanent bond with glass, and won’t chip, peel or fade, even when exposed to direct sunlight.
If you’d like more information about decorating with glass, please visit the rest of our site. If you’d like to purchase Glassprimer™ glass paint, please visit our online store .
Photo Credit: Kevin Walsh, via Flickr.com