Using complex DNA techniques, researchers have finally discovered what Ötzi the iceman and scientific celebrity was wearing when he died 5,300 years ago.
The 5,000-year-old body of the iceman Ötzi was discovered in 1991 in the Otztal Alps between Italy and Austria. He is one of the oldest mummified people ever found. Egyptian mummies are usually several hundred years younger.
Scientists discovered Ötzi was wearing at the time of his death clothes made of brown bear pelt and roe deer and accessories harvested from no less than five wild or domesticated species. Details regarding his ancestry, food preferences, and his sundry diseases have all been revealed with scientific precision over the last two decade, but, until now, nobody ever tried to establish what was he wearing when he died.
His hat presumably came from a bear species that could easily surpass 300 kilos, researchers noted. Moreover, his shoelaces were made of cow leather, his loincloth was made of sheepskin, and his leggings were made of goat leather. The pieces de resistence of the Iceman’s wardrobe were, undoubtedly, the glove-like leggings made of the same kind of goat’s skin that are now favored by haute couture houses in Paris.
The researchers also revealed that the iceman could have started a fashion trend because the same type of leather was used for the 4,500-year-old leggings found in Switzerland.
The DNA analysis also mentioned that the iceman was lactose intolerant and was predisposed to cardiovascular disease.
In addition to his wardrobe choices, Otzi also had 61 tattoos that were demonstrated to be pain relief treatments for his joints rather than for fashion. Other analysis showed that being 45 years old he was quite old for that period of time and also had a poor health condition.
Scientists also found evidence of whipworms, and intestinal parasites. Moreover, the iceman was believed to have suffered from ulcer. However, all of these health problems weren’t what got him killed. Researchers believe the iceman was murdered because they found a flint arrowhead in his left shoulder which is believed to have critically pierced a blood vessel.
What the iceman was doing at 9,800 feet high in the Italian Alps and why he got killed couldn’t be established from the findings and is still unclear.
Image source: Wikipedia