Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Otzi the Iceman

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Otzi the Iceman is one of the greatest discoveries known to date. His discovery has a major significance throughout the world, for his age and excellent preservation, the equipment found with him and the contents of his stomach. Other factors which contribute to his significance are the number of different human blood samples found on his clothing and equipment.

Carbon dating indicates that Iceman is over 5300 years old with nature preserving him to unprecedented levels. He was found high in the Alps where freezing temperatures and strong cold winds occur allowing him and his equipment to be preserved. The winds dried more than 90% of the liquid in his body which got rid of the parasites in his blood allowing him to freeze without decaying. His massive blood loss through his wound also helped the preservation process. Thanks to these conditions we can study Iceman’s life in the early Stone Age.

Initially it was thought that Ozti died due to hypothermia. Later it was speculated that it was part of a sacrificial ceremony. These theories were put to rest after x-rays and CT scans revealed a flint arrow lodged in his left shoulder. Otzi died from a fatal shot approximately 30m away at a 25 degree angle from below. The x-rays and the CT scan also revealed deep cuts on both hands implying a struggle occurred before the final blow which was proved by multiple blood samples found on his equipment. This information concludes that the Stone Age was a violent Era.

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The Iceman’s equipment is a significant discovery as it tells us the story of his death. Multiple blood samples were found on his clothes and equipment strengthening the theory of murder. But this is not the main reason for its importance. A copper axe was found as part of his equipment with its handle still intact, the only one ever discovered. Not only it is unique but also sets the history of copper making back 500 years in Europe. These artefacts and pieces of evidence are major factor of the Iceman’s discovery.

The contents of Otzi’s stomach lead the scientist along the path he has taken over 5300 years ago. Pollen analysis was used on the food found within his intestines to accurately point his route which he travelled up the mountains and the season he died in. It also concluded what tribe Otzi most likely came from. Other food found within his stomach determined what people ate during that period and the last meal of the Iceman.

The discovery of Iceman is one of the greatest mankind’s treasures. Otzi’s preservation level allowed the world to have an insight into the lives of humans over 5300 years ago. He rewrote history with his age and equipment setting new records and helping us to understand our ancestry. Thus these factors make Otzi the Iceman a significant discovery.

Otzi the Iceman essay

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