NEW ORLEANS — Ever since Ötzi’s mummified physique was discovered within the Italian Alps in 1991, researchers have been making an attempt to pin down how the 5,300-year-old Tyrolean Iceman died. It now seems to be like this Copper Age hunter-gatherer merely froze to demise, maybe after struggling minor blood loss from an arrow wound to his left shoulder, anthropologist Frank Rühli of the College of Zurich reported April 20 on the annual assembly of the American Affiliation of Bodily Anthropologists.
“Freezing to demise is sort of probably the primary reason behind demise on this traditional chilly case,” Rühli mentioned. Ötzi succumbed to publicity inside wherever from a couple of minutes to a couple hours, he estimated.
New analyses of the Iceman’s physique, based mostly on X-rays and CT scans, argue towards the concept Ötzi died from a stone arrowhead shot into his shoulder (SN: 9/6/14, p. 6). Surprisingly shallow penetration of that weapon into Ötzi’s shoulder ruptured a blood vessel however induced no main tissue injury, Rühli mentioned. Inner bleeding totaled solely about 100 milliliters, or a half cup, he and his colleagues concluded. That’s sufficient of a poke to trigger loads of discomfort however not demise, Rühli mentioned.
A number of depressions and fractures on the Iceman’s cranium additionally couldn’t have confirmed deadly, he added. Some researchers regard these accidents as indicators that Ötzi was clubbed to demise. Rühli group discovered that these cranium accidents are extra in step with the traditional man having by chance fallen and hit his head whereas strolling over tough floor. The Iceman was discovered with fur headgear that in all probability helped to guard his noggin when he took a headlong tumble, Rühli prompt.