August 19, 2016

Otzi the Iceman Had Lyme Disease

August 19, 2016

Otzi the Iceman Had Lyme Disease

from The Guardian, August 18, 2016
by Nicola Davis

New research on famous 5,300-year-old frozen remains of Alpine man reveals Ötzi as someone who made use of sheep, goats, cattle and hides from a brown bear. And as someone who had Lyme disease.

 

Ötzi the Iceman, a naturally mummified corpse found trapped in the ice of the Italian Alps, has become something of a celebrity in the 25 years since tourists first stumbled upon his frozen remains – so it’s no surprise that his sense of style has come under scrutiny.

Scientists studying the 5,300 year-old remains say they have finally unravelled the secrets of Ötzi’s wardrobe.

The new research reveals that the iceman was potentially a versatile tailor, with skins from sheep, goats and cattle as well as hides from a brown bear and roe deer used to create his outfit.

Ron Pinhasi, co-author of the research from University College, Dublin said the findings show that Ötzi was “pretty picky” when it came to his choice of skins. “To me it seems pretty sophisticated in terms of the capacities to use so many different materials from different animals,” he said.

Aged around 45 years, Ötzi is believed to have bled to death after being hit in the shoulder by an arrow. But it’s not only his grisly demise that has been a subject of scrutiny. Scientists have inspected almost every aspect of the iceman’s remains, revealing everything from his medical history (it turns out Ötzi had Lyme disease) to his penchant for a scrap – with a deep cut on his hand suggesting he was involved in a brawl shortly before his death.

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