Chachapoyas Mummies |
Researchers say Italy's 5,000-year-old Iceman died from head trauma, not
Study Reveals That Iceman Otzi Died of Severe Head
Double-click any word
or phrase on this web site and see
the AnswerTip appear. The patented AnswerTips technology
enables readers to launch a helpful "information bubble" with a
relevant explanation and/or definition. It's an effective,
just-in-time delivery of learning.
Blow to head, not arrow, killed Otzi the iceman
August 28, 2007. Source: The
ROME, Italy (AP) — Researchers studying Iceman, the 5,000-year-old mummy
found frozen in the Italian Alps, have come up with a new theory for how he
died, saying he died from head trauma, not by bleeding to death from an
Just two months ago, researchers in Switzerland published an article in the
Journal of Archeological Science saying the mummy - also known as Oetzi -
had died after the arrow tore a hole in an artery beneath his left
collarbone, leading to massive loss of blood, shock and heart attack.
But radiologists, pathologists and other researchers, using new forensic
information and CAT scans, said Tuesday they believe the blood loss from the
arrow wound only made Oetzi lose consciousness. They believe he died either
by hitting his head on a rock when he passed out or because his aggressor
attacked him again with a blow to the head.
The researchers presented their findings Monday night at the Institute for
Mummies and the Iceman at the European Academy in Bolzano, a research
institution. The mummy institute was launched in July to co-ordinate
research into Oetzi, who is housed in the nearby South Tyrol Archeological
In a statement Tuesday, the academy said the findings reopened the debate on
Oetzi's cause of death, particularly since they took into account the rather
unnatural way in which his body was found: face down, with his left arm
across his chest.
The researchers believe the Iceman fell over backward but was then turned
over onto his stomach by his aggressor who then pulled out the arrow shaft
while leaving the arrowhead imbedded in Oetzi's shoulder.
In a paper published in the archeological magazine Germania, the researchers
said they had determined Oetzi assumed his final position before rigor
mortis set in. They also said based on his good health and equipment found
with him, that he belonged to a social class not accustomed to manual labour.
The researchers were: Andreas Lippert, a prehistory professor at the
University of Vienna, Dr. Paul Gostner, a radiologist at the Bolzano
regional hospital, Dr. Eduard Egarter Vigl, a pathologist at the Bolzano
hospital, and Dr. Patrizia Pernter, a radiologist at the hospital.
Oetzi was found in 1991 by accident by a group of hikers. In 2000, his body
was temporarily thawed so researchers could take samples to study. They have
found his last meal included unleavened bread made of einkorn, a type of
wheat, as well as some greens. DNA from the contents of his intestines
showed he had also consumed venison as one of his last meals - strengthening
the theory that he was a hunter.
While little else is known about Oetzi himself, he was carrying a bow, a
quiver of arrows and a copper axe.
Mystery of 5,000 year old glacier mummy solved
Iceman 'Ötzi's' cause of death proved by researcher at
the University of Zurich
June 6, 2007. Source: Elsehttp://www.elsevier.com/vier
An Italian-Swiss research team, including Dr. Frank Rühli of the Institute
of Anatomy at the University of Zurich in Switzerland proved the cause of
death of the Iceman (“Ötzi,” 3300 BC) by modern X-ray-based technology. A
lesion of a close-to-the-shoulder artery has been found thanks to a CT scan
or multislice computed tomography, finally clarifying the world-famous
glacier mummy’s cause of death. This scientific work appeared online in the
Journal of Archaeological Science, published by Elsevier and will be covered
in the German and US issues of National Geographic magazine in July.
The Iceman is a uniquely well-preserved late Neolithic glacier mummy, found
in 1991 in South Tyrol at 3,210 meters above sea level. He has undergone
various scientific examinations, as human bodies are the best source for the
study of life conditions in the past as well as the evolution of today’s
In 2005, the glacier mummy was reinvestigated in South Tyrol by Dr. F. Rühli
from the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, in
close collaboration with Dr. Eduard Egarter Vigl of the South Tyrol Museum
of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy, as well as Drs. Patrizia Pernter and Paul
Gostner from the Department of Radiology at General Hospital Bolzano, by
state-of-the-art multislice computed tomography (CT).
Analysis of the CT images showed a lesion of the dorsal wall of the left
subclavian artery, the artery underneath the clavicle, caused by an earlier,
already-detected arrowhead that remains in the back. In addition, a large
haematoma could be visualized in the surrounding tissue. By incorporating
historic as well as modern data on the survival ship of such a severe
lesion, the scientists concluded that the Iceman died within a short time
due to this lesion.
“Such obvious proof of a vascular lesion in a body of this historic age is
unique, and it helped to determine the cause of this extraordinary death
without a destructive autopsy. We look forward to further investigating the
circumstances surrounding the Iceman’s sudden death,” explains Dr. Dr. Rühli.