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A backpiece

Tattooing is a process by which a pigment, usually ink, is permanently implanted under the skin by piercing the epidermis and depositing the ink into the dermis. Effectively this means that the middle layer of skin contains ink which is protected by the upper layer (when fully healed).

There are archaeological records of tattooing going well into pre-history. Several tattooed mummies have been found all over the world including Otzi the tattooed iceman who dates back to 3300 BC and the Mummy of Amunet from Ancient Egypt. The word itself is thought to be sourced from "tattau", a Tahitian word which translates essentially as "to mark".

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