Soot tattoo in history
Carbon-based pigments such as soot have been used to create tattoos on human skin all across the world for at least the last 5,300 years. The oldest examples of carbon-based tattooing discovered to date appear as 61 marks on the body of the 5,300 year old Tyrolean ice mummy known as Ötzi, discovered in 1991 near Similaun mountain and Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy. Skin samples from several of the Iceman's tattoos were examined by researchers using optical microscopes, bright field transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS), electron energy loss spectrometry (EELS), energy filtering TEM (EFTEM) and electron diffraction. This work determined that Ötzi's tattoos were created using carbon-base pigments derived from soot and ash. Microscopic quartz crystals identified among the carbon particles are believed to have originated from stones around the fireplace where the carbon was collected.
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- Wood-Black, Frankie. "Going Skin Deep: The Culture and Chemistry of Tattoos". InChemistry. American Chemical Society. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
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