Featured in the EXARC Journal

Experimental Archaeology

Examining the Physical Signatures of Pre-Electric Tattooing Tools and Techniques

Aaron Deter-Wolf 1 ✉,
Danny Riday 2,
Maya Sialuk Jacobsen 3
Publication Date
This paper presents the first experimental archaeological study to formally compare the physical characteristics of tattoos made on human skin using multiple pre-modern tools and tattooing techniques. Our project used eight tools fashioned from animal bone, obsidian, copper, and boar tusk, along with a modern steel needle, to create tattoos on the leg of co-author Danny Riday...

Pit Preserve from Ida – on the Problem of Charred Seeds from Prehistoric Pits

Lutz Zwiebel 1
Publication Date


A wild seed propagator and gardener (such as myself) relies on years of close human-plant interaction. The adaptability of domesticated and many wild plants to human economy and behaviour has always thrilled me. When I first read archaeological reports of frequent and large amounts of prehistoric charred seeds that were dumped in the ground I was bemused. It contrasted starkly with the care and sensitivity I use in the processes of seed harvest, drying and selection. So I started reading more and also charring seeds myself.