My new paper on therapeutic tattooing in the Arctic has just been published in the International Journal of Paleopathology.
Here’s the abstract and Intro paragraph:
Across the Arctic, various Indigenous medical procedures were performed to cure the human body of physical ailments, including bloodletting, piercing, scarification, “poking,” acupuncture, among other traditional medicinal practices (Dixon and Kirchner, 1982; Fortuine, 1985, 1989; Marsh and Laughlin, 1956; Murdoch, 1892:422–423; Weyer, 1932:324). Although each of these therapeutic techniques has not been adequately analyzed, therapeutic tattooing, or the insertion of permanent coloring agents into the dermis to induce healing, is arguably the least understood form of health care praxis recorded in the bioarchaeological and paleopathological record. Material evidence of this form of tattooing in soft tissue remains is extremely rare. Notwithstanding, human societies past and present have engaged in these indelible traditions for thousands of years (Deter-Wolf et al., 2016; Krutak, 2013; Samadelli et al., 2015), but contextualized cultural analysis of specific instances of this ancient medicinal technology are rarely elaborated upon in the literature.