Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Jean Hudson

Committee Members

Dawn Scher Thomae, Patricia Richards


Ancient Tattooing, Andean Archaeology, Peru, Peruvian Archaeology, Peruvian Mummies, Tattooing


This thesis explores the practice of tattooing in the ancient Andean world focusing on Peru. I ask the question: What can we learn about how people in the ancient Andean world used tattoos? For example, who were the people receiving tattoos, where on the body were tattoos located and what did they depict? To address this, I collected data on tattoos preserved on human remains. Mummies originating from Peru were examined and their tattoos were photographed. The mummies I examined come from collections in three museums in the United States, including: the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM), the Field Museum (FM) and the Arizona State Museum (ASM). The goal of this thesis is to gain a better understanding of the practice of tattooing in the ancient Andean world, exploring the bodily locations and stylistic content people used for tattoos.