11 Mar 2019

Tattoo combs may have been invented in Tonga - research

From , 5:00 am on 11 March 2019

The use of traditional tattooing combs may have been invented in Tonga. 

Australian archaeologists made the discovery after looking at artefacts found on Tongatapu in 1963. 

Using modern archaeological methods, they found the tattooist's toolkit was 2,700-years-old -- the oldest set of its kind ever found. 

Researcher Michelle Langley from Griffith University says the find means if Tonga's first arrivals didn't bring the tools with them, they must have invented them there. 

She told Mackenzie Smith why the find was unusual. 

Ancient Tongan tattoo combs.

Ancient Tongan tattoo combs. Photo: Griffith University