5000-year-old Otzi, the Glacier Man died from two wounds, not one: Researchers

January 29th, 2009 - 12:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Munich (Germany), Jan.29 (ANI): Researchers at the Munich, Germany-based Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (LMU) have claimed to solved a 5,000-year-old murder case relating to the famed Glacier Man.
New investigations conducted by the LMU research team and a Bolzano colleague have suggested that he was stabbed twice, rather than once, before he died.
Reconstructing the chronology of the injuries that affected Otzi, the Glacier Man, the research team claims that he did survive an arrow wound in his back, but died shortly after receiving a blow to the back with a blunt object.
We are now able to make the first assertions as to the age and chronology of the injuries, Professor Andreas Nerlich, who led the study, said.
It is now clear that Otzi endured at least two injuring events in his last days, which may imply two separate attacks. Although the ice mummy has already been studied at great length, there are still new results to be gleaned. The crime surrounding Otzi is as thrilling as ever!”
It is the oldest ice mummy ever found.
Otzi, the man from the Neolithic Age, is giving science critical information about life more than 5000 years ago, not least from his equipment. His copper axe, for example, reveals that metalworking was already much more advanced in that era than was previously assumed.
Yet Otzis body, too, gives us many details as to his diet, state of health and not least to his murder.
Some time ago, we detected a deep cut wound on Otzis hand that he must have survived for at least a couple of days, says Nerlich, head of the Institute of Pathology at Municipal Hospital Munich-Bogenhausen and member of the Medical Faculty of LMU.
Another team at about the same time found an arrow tip in Otzis left armpit. The shaft of the arrow was missing, but there is an entry wound on the back.
It is probable, in that case, the man died of internal bleeding because the arrow hit a main artery.
What was unclear, however, was the age and exact chronology of the injuries.
Now, Nerlich has reconstructed the missing chronology while working together with LMU forensic scientist Dr. Oliver Peschel and Dr. Eduard Egarter-Vigl, head of the Institute for Pathology in Bolzano.
According to the new information, Otzi did in fact only survive the arrow wound for a very short period of time, of no more than a few hours. A few centimeters below the entry wound they detected an additional small discoloration of the skin, which was probably caused by a blow from a blunt object.
In both cases, the researchers, using new immuno-histo-chemical detection methods, managed to detect very briefly survived, yet unequivocally fatal bleeding. (ANI)

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