Study shows Ötzi the Iceman froze to death

A new study of the Copper Age mummy found in 1991 in Italian Alps shows that the man might have simply froze to death, perhaps after suffering minor blood loss from an arrow wound to his left shoulder and several blows to the head.

Studying the remains of the Copper Age mummy of Ötzi (by South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology)

According to the researchers the main cause of death of the hunter-gatherer was exposure to cold and death within a period ranging from a few minutes to a few hours. The new analysis of the body involving X-rays and CT scans suggests that the stone arrowhead that pierced the shoulder penetrated the body only shallowly, rupturing a blood vessel but causing no major tissue damage. It has been also shown that the fractures on the Iceman’s skull also couldn’t have proven fatal, as these injuries are more consistent with the ancient man having accidentally fallen and hit his head while walking over rough ground rather than being clubbed to death. Earlier research of the Iceman’s clothing revealed which animals were used in crafting the man’s possessions.

(after Science News & South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology)

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