Otzi the Iceman

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  • Topic: Ötzi the Iceman, Bolzano, Axe
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  • Published : December 6, 2012
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Ötzi the Iceman (pronounced [ˈœtsi] (help·info)), Similaun Man, and Man from Hauslabjoch are modern names for a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived about 5,300 years ago.[1] The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Schnalstal glacier in the Ötztal Alps, near Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy.[2] The nickname comes from the Ötztal (Ötz valley), the Italian Alps in which he was discovered. He is Europe's oldest natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Europeans. His body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, northern Italy (Alto Adige, also known as Southern Tyrol). Discovery

Ötzi was found by two German tourists from Nuremberg, Helmut and Erika Simon, on September 19 1991 and excavated by German archaeologist, Konrad Spindler. The body was at first thought to be a modern corpse, like several others which had been recently found in the region. Lying on its front and frozen in ice below the torso, it was crudely removed from the glacier by the Austrian authorities using a small jackhammer (which punctured the hip of the body) and ice-axes using non-archaeological methods. In addition, before the body was removed from the ice, people were allowed to see it, and some took portions of the clothing and tools as souvenirs. The body was then taken to a morgue in Innsbruck where its true age was ascertained. Surveys in October 1991 showed that the body had been located 92.56 meters inside Italian territoryCoordinates: 46°46′44″N 10°50′23″E / 46.77889°N 10.83972°E / 46.77889; 10.83972.[3] Since 1998 it has been on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Alto Adige, Italy. Scientific analyses of Ötzi

The corpse has been extensively examined, measured, X-rayed, and dated. Tissues and intestinal contents have been examined microscopically, as have the items found with the body. In August 2004, frozen bodies of three Austro-Hungarian soldiers killed during the Battle of San Matteo (1918) were found on the mountain of San Matteo in the Trentino region of Italy. One body was sent to a museum in the hope that research on how the environment affected its preservation would help unravel Ötzi's past and future evolution.[4] The body

By current estimates, at the time of his death Ötzi was approximately 1.65 metres (5 ft 5 in) tall,[5] weighed about 50 kilograms (110 lb; 7.9 st)[6] and was about 45 years of age.[5] When his body was found, it weighed 38 kilograms (84 lb; 6.0 st).[5] Because the body was covered in ice shortly after his death, it had only partially deteriorated. Analysis of pollen, dust grains and the isotopic composition of his tooth enamel indicates that he spent his childhood near the present village of Feldthurns (Velturno), north of Bolzano, but later went to live in valleys about 50 kilometres further north.[7] Analysis by Franco Rollo's group at the University of Camerino has shown that Ötzi's mitochondrial DNA belongs to the K1 subcluster of the mitochondrial haplogroup K, but that it cannot be categorized into any of the three modern branches of that subcluster.[8] Rollo's group published Ötzi's complete mtDNA sequence in 2008.[9] Analysis of Ötzi's intestinal contents showed two meals (the last one consumed about eight hours before his death), one of chamois meat, the other of red deer meat. Both were eaten with grain as well as roots and fruits. The grain from both meals was a highly processed einkorn wheat bran,[10] quite possibly eaten in the form of bread. In the proximity of the body, and thus possibly originating from the Iceman's provisions, chaff and grains of einkorn and barley, and seeds of flax and poppy were discovered, as well as kernels of sloes (small plumlike fruits of the blackthorn tree) and various seeds of berries growing in the wild.[11] Hair analysis was used to examine his diet from several months before. Pollen in the first meal showed that it had...
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