Old iceman emerges from melting glacier

By on October 3, 2002

If there was only one meal left to eat, what would it be?
Many people around the world have been wondering just that question about the 5,300-year-old iceman known as Oetzi.
He was discovered more than a decade ago by German tourists in the Oetz Valley. When he was discovered, the man was wearing goatskin like-pants and a grass cape along with his copper-headed axe and an arsenal of arrows.
Oetzi’s mummified remains were found in the Italian Alps in the area of a melting glacier. Since his emergence in 1991, he has been undergoing intense examination by the world’s leading scientists.
Following a brief dispute between Austrian and Italian officials, scientists were able to begin examining the body after it was transferred to the South Tyrol Archaeological Museum in Bolzano, where it remains today.
It has already been determined that Oetzi was about 5′ 2″ tall, 46 years old, suffered from arthritis and suffered from an infestation of whipworm at the time of his passing.
Most agree he resided in an agriculture-based community centered on cereal grains.
Scientists have found a flint arrowhead lodged in the man’s back along with a deep wound in his right hand. The injury on his hand led many to believe that Oetzi had been engaged in hand-to-hand combat minutes before he died.
The injury to the back of his shoulder led researchers to believe that the 46-year-old was shot and fled the struggle.
For some time, the science community believed Oetzi died after a violent altercation with someone or something.
Many scientists consider the mummified man a portal to the Stone Age. Oetzi is considered comparable to any celebrity today with many people calling him one of the great archaeological finds of the last quarter century.
So, back to the question. What did Oetzi eat at his “last supper?”
Scientists began to approach a conclusion about two years ago when his remains were defrosted so that pollen and cereal grains taken from inside his body could be analyzed.
The analysis has begun to paint a picture of Oetzi’s way of life, however, the process of determining exactly what he ate last proved difficult. researchers believe outside substances, like fungi, entered his body before a violent death.
“According to the present DNA analysis, the last journey of the warrior/hunter was made through a coniferous woodland at an intermediate altitude,” said a scientist to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “This is where he possibly had a first meal, composed of cereals, other plant food and ibex meat, and ended with his death in a rocky basin at over 3,200 meters above sea level.”


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