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Iceman Found in Italy Didn't Wander Far
AP-Science ^ | 2003-10-30 | RANDOLPH E. SCHMID

Posted on 10/30/2003 1:22:40 PM PST by Junior

WASHINGTON - The mysterious 5,200-year-old iceman found in an Alpine glacier was born in a valley in what is now northern Italy and didn't travel far from home, an international team of researchers has concluded.

Indeed, the iceman, known as Oetzi, probably spent his whole life within about 37 miles of the spot near the Italy-Austria border where he was found frozen, according to the team led by Wolfgang Mueller of the Australian National University in Canberra.

Their findings are being reported Friday in the journal Science.

A group of hikers discovered Oetzi's well-preserved body in 1991; since then, he and his clothing and tools have opened a window on the previously little known world of copper-age Europe. Oetzi is currently housed at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy.

Mueller's team, which also includes researchers from the United States and Switzerland, studied the forms of different elements in Oetzi's teeth, bones and intestines and compared them with the types found in water and soil in the region.

Elements such as oxygen and argon are found in different forms, called isotopes, and by comparing the ratio of one isotope to another in body tissue scientists can determine the source of the food or water the person has been consuming. The researchers also looked at the isotopes of strontium and lead in Oetzi.

The findings for tooth enamel can show what a person had been eating and drinking as a child, while bone provides a a similar measure for adults. In addition, the intestines give an indication of activities during a person's final days.

Water in the area where Oetzi was found varies in oxygen isotope ratio because rainfall to the north comes from the cooler and more distant Atlantic Ocean, while that to the south comes from the warmer and closer Mediterranean.

Analysis of Oetzi's tooth enamel indicates that between the ages of 3 and 5 he was drinking water with isotope ratios found only to the south of where he was found frozen.

However, bone analysis of the isotope level ingested as an adult shows a contribution from both northern and southern water sources, something the researchers said could indicate migration into one or more of several nearby valleys.

The isotope ratios for strontium and lead vary depending on the types of rock and soil in an area. The scientists also analyzed the argon ratio of bits of mica found in the intestine, believed to have been ingested as a result of eating stone-ground grain.

Using this data, the team was able to rule out the region south of Bolzano as home to Oetzi, saying instead that he more likely resided in the Schnals or Etsch/Adige valley near Merano or the nearby Ulten, middle Eisack or lower Puster valleys, between Bolzano and the Austrian border.

"Our data indicate that the Iceman spent his entire life in the area south of the discovery site" near the border between Italy and Austria, the team concluded.

They noted that one location, Feldthurns, near Bressanone in the Eisack valley, gives the closest match between local soils and Oetzi's tooth enamel.

Earlier studies have indicated that Oetzi was between 25 and 40 when he died, suffered from arthritis and had an arrowhead embedded in a shoulder, probably the cause of death.

___

On the Net:

Science: http://www.sciencemag.org


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: ancientautopsies; archaeology; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; iceman; oetzi; otzi; theiceman

1 posted on 10/30/2003 1:22:40 PM PST by Junior
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To: PatrickHenry; VadeRetro; Piltdown_Woman; RadioAstronomer
Y'all might like this -- especially the isotopic ratio stuff.
2 posted on 10/30/2003 1:24:36 PM PST by Junior ("Your superior intellects are no match for our puny weapons!")
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To: Junior
That analysis seems a little bit more extensive than the one that they did on another dirt nap victim, Vince Foster!
3 posted on 10/30/2003 1:26:33 PM PST by aShepard (-It's always about me!)
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To: blam
ping
4 posted on 10/30/2003 1:27:16 PM PST by CathyRyan
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To: Junior
In addition, the intestines give an indication of activities during a person's final days.

It hasn't been widely reported, but his last meal appears to have been a Big Mac Value Meal. If they can confirm this, it is theorized that Oetzi may have been one of McDonald's very first customers.

5 posted on 10/30/2003 1:27:25 PM PST by Always Right
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To: Junior
"Analysis of Oetzi's tooth enamel indicates that between the ages of 3 and 5 he was drinking water with isotope ratios found only to the south of where he was found frozen. "

Wouldn't this guy's baby teeth have fallen out about 6. So how can they tell from his teeth, what he was drinking from 3 to 5?

6 posted on 10/30/2003 1:27:34 PM PST by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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To: Junior
Interesting, forensic science has come a long way baby..
7 posted on 10/30/2003 1:30:15 PM PST by Ogmios (Since when is 66 senate votes for judicial confirmations constitutional?)
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To: CathyRyan
Thanks for the ping.
8 posted on 10/30/2003 1:30:23 PM PST by blam
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To: Junior
"Iceman Found in Italy Didn't Wander Far"

Of course not, he was dead and frozen. How far could he go.
9 posted on 10/30/2003 1:30:28 PM PST by Lee'sGhost (Crom!)
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To: DannyTN
If I'm not mistaken, the tooth buds for adult teeth are found in young children; the baby teeth sort of sit on top of them. It would make sense for the enamel on these nascent adult teeth to absorb isotopes when the guy was young.
10 posted on 10/30/2003 1:32:12 PM PST by Junior ("Your superior intellects are no match for our puny weapons!")
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To: Junior
[He]had an arrowhead embedded in a shoulder, probably the cause of death.

Call in the cold case detectives!

11 posted on 10/30/2003 1:34:04 PM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Uday and Qusay and Idi-ay are ead-day)
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To: DannyTN
Not all baby teeth are lost, some adults have them throughout life. I myself have a few baby teeth in my jaw.
My brother only lost 2 if his. And a careful forensic examination of the bones will reveal much about the diet.
12 posted on 10/30/2003 1:34:23 PM PST by theDentist (Liberals can sugarcoat sh** all they want. I'm not biting.)
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To: DannyTN
Not all baby teeth are lost, some adults have them throughout life. I myself have a few baby teeth in my jaw. My brother only lost 2 of his. And a careful forensic examination of the bones will reveal much about the diet.
13 posted on 10/30/2003 1:34:50 PM PST by theDentist (Liberals can sugarcoat sh** all they want. I'm not biting.)
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To: DannyTN
Wouldn't this guy's baby teeth have fallen out about 6. So how can they tell from his teeth, what he was drinking from 3 to 5?

Yes, the baby teeth would have been gone, at the latest, by age 8. However, the enamel of the baby teeth would likely show what the mother was eating/drinking due to nursing. The adult teeth would have been forming after the age of three and would not be "influenced", so to speak, from the mother's milk. The isotopes found in the adult teeth would have been from ingestion solely after the nursing period.

14 posted on 10/30/2003 1:38:20 PM PST by woofer
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To: Junior
The problem with the isotope thing is that they have to ASSUME that the isotopes in the area were exactly the same as they were 5000 years ago.
15 posted on 10/30/2003 1:39:59 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
5200 years old! He must have been living when the Dinosaurs lived!
16 posted on 10/30/2003 1:46:18 PM PST by FastCoyote
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To: Blood of Tyrants
I suppose someone could have trucked in several hundred billion tons of dirt to confuse the issue.
17 posted on 10/30/2003 1:46:32 PM PST by Junior ("Your superior intellects are no match for our puny weapons!")
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To: Junior
In addition, the intestines give an indication of activities during a person's final days.

I'm sorry but the odd wording of this sentence makes me wonder what sort of "activities" he might have been engaged in that would lead to traces in his intestines.

18 posted on 10/30/2003 1:54:08 PM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: Question_Assumptions
Now that was just disgusting....LOL

Funny, but quite disgusting...
19 posted on 10/30/2003 2:07:04 PM PST by Ogmios (Since when is 66 senate votes for judicial confirmations constitutional?)
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To: Junior
What the heck are you talking about?
20 posted on 10/30/2003 2:10:55 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: DannyTN
"Wisdom" teeth?
21 posted on 10/30/2003 2:19:19 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: Blood of Tyrants
I was replying to this posting of yours:

The problem with the isotope thing is that they have to ASSUME that the isotopes in the area were exactly the same as they were 5000 years ago.

The isotopic composition of the soil is not going to change too dramatically in 5k years. There might be small fluctuations, but they'll be within a margin of error. What really clues you in that they've found the guy's birthplace is that they've found an almost perfect match for the isotopes within walking distance of the iceman's final resting place. If this is not where he came from, the soil would have had to have been A)switched out completely with the area from which he did originate or B)somehow, out of millions of possible outcomes, assumed the composition of the soil from the area from which this fellow came.

Since B is patently unlikely, the only other option would be for someone, on a whim, to truck in several hundred billion tons of dirt to confuse the issue.

Hence, my reply to you.

22 posted on 10/30/2003 2:19:33 PM PST by Junior ("Your superior intellects are no match for our puny weapons!")
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To: Lee'sGhost
"Of course not, he was dead and frozen. How far could he go."

LOL! Best reply yet!
23 posted on 10/30/2003 2:21:36 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Junior
Indeed, the iceman, known as Oetzi, probably spent his whole life within about 37 miles of the spot near the Italy-Austria border where he was found frozen, according to the team led by Wolfgang Mueller of the Australian National University in Canberra.

Ummmm...37 miles is a pretty good distance when you do not have a car... Boy these proffessors are smart.

24 posted on 10/30/2003 2:21:40 PM PST by sit-rep
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To: sit-rep
And have you seen the hills in that area...
Most of those 37 miles would have been strait up (almost) or down...
25 posted on 10/30/2003 2:25:26 PM PST by cavtrooper21 (Stand and Deliver!! One round volly fire by Ranks....... FIRE!)
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To: theDentist
"I myself have a few baby teeth in my jaw."

Ok, now that's just wierd. Remind me to never let any of my decendants marry into your family.

I liked the other explanations about adult teeth already forming from 3-5 better. Although it bothers me that your nick is Dentist.

26 posted on 10/30/2003 2:27:53 PM PST by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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To: Lee'sGhost
"Iceman Found in Italy Didn't Wander Far"

Not with the price of gas in europe being what it is. Another casualty of the Kyoto mindset.

27 posted on 10/30/2003 2:30:01 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim (SSDD - Same S#it Different Democrat)
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To: sit-rep
It's a rough transcription of the 60km the researchers probably told the reporter. Otherwise, most folks would have rounded it to 35 or 40 miles.
28 posted on 10/30/2003 2:30:27 PM PST by Junior ("Your superior intellects are no match for our puny weapons!")
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To: sit-rep
Ummmm...37 miles...

37 miles = 50 km. This was a metric guy.
29 posted on 10/30/2003 2:32:24 PM PST by Western Phil
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To: DannyTN
"Wouldn't this guy's baby teeth have fallen out about 6. So how can they tell from his teeth, what he was drinking from 3 to 5?"

Your secondary teeth are there, as tooth buds, at that age. They just don't start emerging 'til about age 7 or so.
30 posted on 10/30/2003 2:50:36 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: Question_Assumptions
"I'm sorry but the odd wording of this sentence makes me wonder what sort of "activities" he might have been engaged in that would lead to traces in his intestines."

Eating and drinking. If you find evidence of berries in the diet, then an activity would have been gathering berries. If you found evidence of the meat of birds, then you could assume some other activity.
31 posted on 10/30/2003 2:52:36 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: farmfriend
ping
32 posted on 10/30/2003 2:52:57 PM PST by Thud
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To: Junior; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; Alas Babylon!; annyokie; bd476; BiffWondercat; Bilbo Baggins; ...
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

For real time political chat - Radio Free Republic chat room

33 posted on 10/30/2003 6:41:03 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: Junior; Blood of Tyrants
I suppose someone could have trucked in several hundred billion tons of dirt to confuse the issue.

God, I love good sarcasm.     Bon!
34 posted on 10/30/2003 7:12:33 PM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: Western Phil
This was a metric guy.

Maybe he was one of those metricsexual guys.

35 posted on 10/30/2003 7:19:09 PM PST by Consort
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To: All

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36 posted on 10/30/2003 7:19:22 PM PST by Bob J (www.freerepublic.net www.radiofreerepublic.com...check them out!)
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To: Junior
I wonder what they'll conclude if they find Bill & Hillary in 5,000 years.
37 posted on 10/30/2003 7:22:56 PM PST by Starrgaizr
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To: Junior
They found Jimmy Hoffa on Ice?


38 posted on 10/30/2003 7:29:40 PM PST by Major_Risktaker
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To: DannyTN
"Wouldn't this guy's baby teeth have fallen out about 6. So how can they tell from his teeth, what he was drinking from 3 to 5?"

You are correct, fortunately, his mother kept the teeth and a hank of baby hair and donated them to the researchers.

39 posted on 10/31/2003 2:41:30 PM PST by norton
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To: norton
You think she kept bronze shoes from the bronze age?
40 posted on 10/31/2003 4:12:28 PM PST by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Blast from the Past.

Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


41 posted on 07/25/2011 7:39:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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