Who was ötzi?
On the border between Italy and Austria, on the East ridge of the Ötztal Alps in September 1991, he was found the ice mummy. Its our German tourists Erika and Helmut Simon. Initially, it was suggested that this body of recently deceased mountain climber or a tourist, because the mummy has been preserved quite well. About his discovery, they reported to local authorities. As a result, the place of detection of remains were sent to a group of specialists who tried to retrieve the body with the help of ice axes and pneumatic drills, but their attempts were unsuccessful. The weather worsened, so they were forced to abandon their attempts.
Only 23 of September, when near the body was a group of climbers, it was removed from the ice. Near the body were found the remains of clothing and items that this person used in life. The mummy was taken to Innsbruck, in the office of the medical examiner. There also arrived and Konrad Spindler, who the following day visited the remains are found. On the basis of typologies lay near the mummy of an ax, the archaeologist estimated its age at approximately four thousand years. It is considered that the ice man lived about 3350-3100 years BC, so he’s older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
According to assumptions of experts, the death of the ice man, who was named ötzi (at the place of discovery of the remains), depicted on ancient stone stele. This stone is quite consistent with the supposed age of the remains. This stone was used as the altar in the Church, which was located near the site of the discovery of the mummy, in the town of Letch. One of the drawings was a picture of Archer, who was going to shoot you in the back of an unarmed fleeing man.
Italian and Austrian authorities began to argue about who owns a unique find. Experts conducted a detailed study of the border, and then were able to determine that the remains were in Italian territory, a distance of about 93 metres from established in 1919 border. However, the Italian authorities allowed the Austrian scientist from Innsbruck to complete the surveys. Then, in 1998, the mummy was moved to the Italian archaeological Museum of Bolzano.
According to assumptions of researchers, the ECR at the time of death has reached 45 years of age. In life, his growth did not exceed 165 centimeters, he weighed about 60 pounds. Mummy weighed a little less than 14 pounds. Due to the fact that the remains were under the ice, they survived well enough. After conducting isotope analysis of tooth enamel, scientists came to the conclusion that the child that old man went to the North of Bolzano, after which he moved to 50 miles North and lived in the valley. The body had obvious signs of aging: the circulatory system had signs of cardiovascular disease, and joints are pretty much worn out. In addition, the body was found a few of the injuries suffered by ancient people in life. Thus, in particular, on the left leg was frostbitten thumb, a broken nose and left side broken rib.
The colonoscopy gave the opportunity to establish that the last time ötzi ate about 8 hours before his death. It was venison and wheat, which probably substitute for bread. The hair showed a large content of copper and arsenic, which enabled the scientists to speculate that ötzi could be related to copper smelting. Analysis of the bones showed that during the life of this man made frequent and long walks in the highlands. This led researchers to believe that the ice man was engaged in herding.
In addition, scientists using DNA analysis also found that ötzi was lactose intolerant, which was quite widespread in those ancient times, despite the fact that developed agriculture and butter.
On the body the mummy was discovered numerous tattoos – a total of more than 60. It was black lines, the length of which ranged from 7 to 40 mm and a width of 1-3 mm. Cross the line was located on my right ankle and a right knee and parallel along the waist, and also around the left wrist. As established scientists who made them, covered fireplace soot or ash in the shallow sections. According to assumptions of experts, made them for pain. But regarding tattoos, the consensus among scientists is not. Some researchers suggests that tattooing was part of the rite of passage young men, at the same time, other scientists are convinced that it was a sign of the shaman. Hairstyle ötzi managed to recover the strands of hair found near the remains, because the hair was not preserved. During the life of the ancient man’s hair was dark in color, slightly wavy and reached 9 inches in length. Ötzi wore them freely, not braiding in a braid. In addition, he was able to wear a small beard, as evidenced by discovered next to the remains curly short strands.
Clothes of the ancient man preserved loincloth, shoes, belt and cloak. All these things were made from the skins of different animals. In addition, ötzi wore bearskin hats. The shoes were made from the bark of a tree, covered in deer skin, and the soles was made of bear skin. Scientists found inside the soft grass, which probably served as a modern analogue of socks. The cloak was made of strips of leather that were sewn together with sinew. The shoes were so skillfully made and sturdy, some experts have suggested that in those days there were professional shoemakers.
From ötzi was a stone knife with an ash handle, a yew bow, the length of which reached 82 centimeters and a copper axe with a handle of yew wood. In addition, there was a quiver with 14 arrows. Near the remains were also found in the mushroom fungus. Tinder is real, probably was part of a flint, because it was discovered also pyrite and steels. And the birch polypore was used for medicinal purposes.
Best among all things has survived the axe. Its blade length was about 10 inches and 99 percent consisted of copper. Carefully polished handle in length was 60 cm. In those days copper axes were considered military weapons, therefore, could belong only to the upper strata of society. This gave the opportunity to researchers to make the assumption that ötzi was not an ordinary shepherd, and had a certain social status.
After analysis of mitochondrial DNA it was found that ötzi belonged to European mtDNA, previously unknown. Most ties can be traced to southern Europe, with the Corsicans and Sardinians. In 2012, paleontologist John hawks, it was suggested that the ice man had a high degree of Neanderthal origin. And a year later was found 19 modern Tyrolean men at the genetic level have a connection with the ECR. They were found among 3700 blood donors.
Regarding the causes of death of the Iceman for a long time among scientists was not unity. Some researchers have assumed that he just froze in the mountains, once in a snow storm. Some leaned to the idea that ötzi was the victim of ritual sacrifice. And in 2001, after carrying out x-ray analysis it was found that the left shoulder of the ancient man is the tip of the arrow. Thus, there was another version of his death – a violent death that has occurred due to wounds and blood loss. In addition, the body of the mummy, scientists found lacerations on the hands, chest, wrists, bruises, and brain injury resulting from a blow to the head. At the moment the main hypothesis of death is that ötzi was hit in the head.
After extensive DNA testing it was established that near the ice man was at least another three people, because it was discovered the blood of four different people. The researchers suggest that ötzi could carry back a wounded comrade, and he was pursued by enemies armed with bows.
The Italian archaeologist Alessandro Vanzetti in 2010 suggested that this ancient man died at a lower altitude, after which it is buried high in the mountains. Pointing out the stones. Which are scattered around and which previously could serve as a platform burial. The thaw has led to the fact that these stones are moved in different directions. However, most researchers believe that this theory is not very convincing. They claim that the ice man died a violent death.
However, the full picture of those distant events is still not established.
In Bolzano not so long ago a conference was held dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the discovery of ötzi. One of the most interesting presentations was the message researchers from Italy, who tried to reproduce the voice of this ancient man.
As noted by experts, they are not sure that the reconstruction accurately conveys the voice of the ECR. The study of the larynx was carried out using the methods of computer tomography. To apply magnetic resonance imaging, scientists did not dare, for fear of damaging the remains of mummies, despite the fact that this technology could give more accurate result. Complicated work and pose, which was the ECR. Throat was the hand, and the hyoid bone was not only dislocated but partially destroyed. To recover the original form of the larynx, the researchers used computer modeling. Thus, it was found that during the life of the ice man had a little trembling and a low voice.
The study of ötzi continue for a quarter of a century. During this period of time, scientists were able to learn a lot of new facts about the copper-stone age, and the existence of people in that period. Writing in those days did not exist, therefore the archaeological research in this case remain almost the only chance to obtain new data about the people who lived in that period. Its decision will have many questions, and in the case of the ice man, the point has not been set.
It should be noted that in recent times you can hear conversations about the curse of the ice man. One of the reasons for the emergence of such rumors lies in the death of several people who were associated with the discovery and study of ötzi. Supposedly, they all died under mysterious circumstances. From a total of seven people, four of whom died in accidents.
However, it is necessary to take into account that in the process of research the ice man was involved hundreds of specialists. And the remains of mummies are being studied by scientists until now. The fact that a small proportion of employees in this people died for such a long period of time, can not testify about the curse. People die all the time, and it is a natural process that mysticism has nothing to do.