Iceman Oetzi attacked not once but twice, research suggests

3rd February 2009, Comments 0 comments

It was known that Oetzi, the oldest ice mummy ever found, was shot in the back with an arrow.

Berlin -- Oetzi, the 5,000-year old man whose frozen body was discovered in a glacier in the Alps in 1991, may have been attacked not once but twice in his final few days, German researchers said last month.

It was known that Oetzi, the oldest ice mummy ever found, was shot in the back with an arrow but scientists at Munich's LMU university have now concluded that he may have survived this, if only for a few minutes or hours at most.

And in addition to his being whacked with a blunt object just before Oetzi's 46-year existence in the Neolithic Age ended, he also sustained a nasty gash in his hand several days earlier, the LMU said.

"We are now able to make the first assertions as to the age and chronology of the injuries," said Professor Andreas Nerlich, who led the study. "It is now clear that Oetzi endured at least two events resulting in injury in his last days, which may imply two separate attacks."

The new research, done together with the Institute for Pathology in Bolzano, Italy, is also giving science critical new information about life more than five millennia ago, not least from his equipment, the LMU said.

His copper axe, for example, reveals that metalworking was already much more advanced in that era than was previously assumed, and his body gives many details as to his diet and state of health.

Oetzi's body was found in an astonishing state of preservation in the eastern Alps near the Austrian-Italian border in 1991 thanks to five thousand years in the deep freeze.


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