In this week’s science ink, Mike Goldstein revives the world’s oldest known tattoos, from the back of Ötzi, who died 5400 years ago in the Alps. No one knows what the stack of lines meant to him.
“I got the tattoo to remind myself of my biological link to him,” Goldstein writes. “Though we come from times that are completely different, we’re still both human, which is all we can be. It reminds me that I can live however I want – I don’t have to work in an office or wear a tie, as are the expectations of our culture. I can walk across the Alps and die in a swamp, and that’s OK.”
Check out more tattoos in “Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed” by Carl Zimmer.