Prehistoric Tattoo Archeology with Aaron Deter-Wolf of the Tennessee Division of Archeology
Aaron Deter-Wolf is a Prehistoric Archaeologist with the Tennessee Division of Archaeology in Nashville, where he manages ancient Native American sites on State-owned lands and conducts archaeological excavations and research. In addition to his work in Tennessee, for the past decade Aaron has been a leading researcher in developing the archaeological study of tattooing. Those efforts include using contextual analysis and microscopic use-wear signatures to identify tattooing tools in archaeological collections, efforts to systematically document tattoos on mummified human remains, and experiments recreating and testing ancient and historic tattooing implements.
In 2009 Aaron organized the first American academic symposium to examine ancient and early historic Native American tattooing, which led to the volume
Drawing with Great Needles: Ancient Tattoo Traditions of North America.
He is also co-editor of Ancient Ink: The Archaeology of Tattooing, the first-ever book dedicated to the global archaeological study of tattooing. In recent years Aaron was part of research teams that identified a 2,000-year old set of cactus spines from Utah, and 5,000-year old turkey bone needles from Tennessee. He shares information about the history of tattooing and body modification on the Instagram account @archaeologyink.