Thursday, June 7, 2007

Otzi the Italian Iceman Wounded by Arrow

The oldest natural mummy discovered, Otzi, has been determined by researchers to have died of the arrow wound in his back. Scientists have known about the arrow for a long time, but debated on whether he had died of a fall or some other cause. With modern x-ray technology however, it was discovered that he died from bleeding from a break in an artery in his shoulder caused by the arrow, which is still in his back.

Otzi was found in 1991 after ice melted in the Italian Alps. He was determined to be over 5,000 years old and with no living relatives who belong in the same genetic group. He was dressed in leather and grasses which insulated him from the cold. He carried a copper axe, a bow and arrows. His body is considered to be one of the best preserved in the world although it had been damaged during retrieval and some of the items he had carried may have been lost. The photo is courtesy of REUTERS/Werner Nosko.

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