Research, Technology

New facts about the ice man Ötzi: the cause of death is set incorrectly

In 1991, in one of the ravines of the Ötztal Alpsa unique mummy of a man who lived 5300 years ago was discovered. Thanks to the constant negative temperature, his remains were perfectly preserved. Moreover, even fragments of clothing, shoes and some equipment have been preserved. The ice mummy was named Ötzi, or Ötzi, after the place where the man's remains were found. An initial study showed that a murder took place in the Alps 5,000 years ago. On the body of Ötzi, wounds received during the battle were found, as a result of which he died. However, recently a paper was published in which the earlier conclusions are called into question. It is possible that the man did not die from his wounds at all. Moreover, the place of his death is far from the ravine where he was found. If these assumptions are correct, then it is quite possible that there are many other mummies of prehistoric people in the Alps.

Reconstruction of the appearance of the ice man Ötzi

What killed the ice man Ötzi

Ötzi the ice man was discovered by the Germanstourists on the Alpine pass between Italy and Austria. The remains are so well preserved that travelers mistook them for a climber who died in our time. But later, during the study, it was possible to establish the true age of the find.

Archaeologist Konrad Spindler also established the causedeath of a man. It is his version that is considered official to this day. According to the archaeologist, Ötzi was killed. The wound on the shoulder indicates that an arrowhead was stuck into the body. In addition, there is a stab wound on the arm, which the man could have received when he covered himself with a knife. True, the wound was received a few days before death. Damage to equipment, namely a backpack, a bow and a quiver with arrows, also indirectly confirms the fact of the battle.

Ötzi's mummy was in this position when it was discovered by tourists in the Alps.

The archaeologist suggested that the cause of death waswounded by an arrow that hit the artery. As a result, the man bled to death within minutes. But archaeologist Lars Pile, who and his colleagues conducted a new study of Ötzi, does not agree with this version.

How the wounds appeared on the body of Ötzi

According to researchers, wounds and injuriesOtzi's equipment could have been obtained as a result of natural processes, namely, the pressure of the surrounding ice. True, this does not refute the version that Ötzi could engage in battle with anyone. It is possible that some of the wounds were indeed received by him during his lifetime.

But the most important assumption concerns the placethe death of the ice man. According to a study published in the journal Holocene, Ötzi did not die at the bottom of a ravine. Most likely his body was brought here as a result of the melting of the ice. The process could take several years - the ice regularly melted and froze, causing the body of a prehistoric man to gradually move.

A quiver of arrows that belonged to Ötzi

According to the first study, Ötzi was killed directlyin the ravine, that is, where he was found. It happened in the fall. Due to the fact that the remains were in a ravine, they were not damaged by the crushing pressure of the glacier. However, the analysis of food in the intestines of Ötzi refutes this version. New data suggest that the man died in the spring or early summer. At this time, the ravine was supposed to be filled with ice.

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Researchers suggest that ancient mandied on the surface of an immobile glacier. Artifacts were later carried into the ravine along with the body. Most likely, periodically they were immersed in melt water. But this did not prevent them from being well preserved for many thousands of years.

To finally put an end to thisquestion, it is necessary to conduct an additional, more thorough study of the mummy. Some signs can tell for sure if she was submerged under water. If the remains were for some time in the water, then the skin, nails and hair should have suffered, as happens with drowned people.

Ötzi's remains could have been moved to the ravine along with melt water

Are there other ice mummies in the Alps?

According to the researchers, it is quite possible thatas a result of the same processes in the Alps, the bodies of other ancient people could also be preserved. Therefore, the likelihood of finding another prehistoric body has now become much higher. However, it should be borne in mind that even if there really are surviving mummies in the mountains, they can be hidden from view, for example, in ice. Accordingly, finding them will not be easy.

“It (the chance) is not so great that I can promise that a body will be found in the next decade, but I think there is a chance,” says archaeologist Lars Pile.

But there is also good news. Global warming contributes to various archaeological finds. Glaciers are gradually melting and revealing artifacts that have been stored for thousands of years.