Skip to comments.Alpine ice man may have been childless outcast
Posted on 02/03/2006 6:43:25 PM PST by presidio9
Stone Age man found frozen in the Alps some 5,300 years after he was murdered under mysterious circumstances may have been a childless social outcast, a new study showed.
Italian anthropologist Franco Rollo studied fragments of the DNA belonging to Oetzi, as the mummy has come to be known, and found two typical mutations common among men with reduced sperm mobility, the museum that stores the "iceman" said.
A high percentage of men with such a condition are sterile.
"Insofar as the 'iceman' was found to possess both mutations, the possibility that he was unable to father offspring cannot be eliminated," the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in the Alpine town of Bolzano said in a statement.
"This not improbable hypothesis raises new questions concerning his social rank within his society," it added, arguing that the new evidence supported a theory that viewed the man as a social outcast.
Hikers discovered Oetzi in the mountains between Italy and Austria in 1991.
In 2001, scientists found an arrowhead in the iceman's shoulder blade, and tests revealed blood from four different people on his clothes and a cut in his hand, possibly from a fight.
Medicine in the man's pockets and sophisticated weapons seemed to indicate that he was a shaman or a chieftain, and one theory says Oetzi was the victim of a power struggle in his own tribe. A rival theory proposes the opposite -- that he was a reject.
Rollo, a researcher at the University of Camerino in Italy, was also able to assign the mummy's DNA to one of the basic groups of human DNA historically occurring in Europe.
His basic DNA resembles that of the Ladines, an ethnic group still living in the region today, and that of residents of the Oetztal valley where he was found, the museum said.
Rollo's latest research findings will be published in February's edition of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
He was probably gay and it was a hate crime.
He should of worn his shorts looser.
The poor man has been dead for 5300 years. Enough already!
Sure are creating a scenario out of the flimsiest of data. He was sterile and from there we deduce he was an outcast and murdered?
Lots of speculation here. He was shot with an arrow and died in the snow. He was sterile. That's really all they can deduce with any degree of certainty.
That he was driven out or killed because he was sterile is sheer speculation.
Really. We don't need to know this. Let him RIP.
No. An arrowhead was found in his back. It's likely he was attacked.
The four different blood types and samples found on him along with the arrowhead in his back suggests he had a rough last few minutes. Some one or some number wanted him dead.
No, I am not disputing he was murdered. I am questioning how the jump to the conclusion he was murdered because he was sterile and therefore an outcast. Maybe he was murdered because he stole things, or he raped someone, or he cast a really bad spell on a villager.
The blood samples were found on his clothing. "Scientists" have no way of determining when they got there? These people hunted to live. With stone weapons. And they typically owned one outfit. It would be suprising if he DIDN'T have multiple blood samples on his clothing.
Maybe he lied about whether the neighboring tribe had weapons of mass destruction.
They didn't have pockets back then. Also, you don't get sophisticated weapons if your an outcast. Someone else makes them, usually the lady(s) of the lodge. Having the blood of 4 people on his clothes means he was a great warrior. Since he was found alone, he was probably killed raiding another camp, or was jumped for the procedes of his hunt.
Looks like a classic "cold case" file to me.
Human and animal blood can be distinguished, but I'm not sure if that's possible after 5000 years.