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The Iceman's Last Meal
ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 20 June 2011 | Heather Pringle

Posted on 06/20/2011 5:57:50 PM PDT by Fractal Trader

Less than 2 hours before he hiked his last steps in the Tyrolean Alps 5000 years ago, Ötzi the Iceman fueled up on a last meal of ibex meat. That was the conclusion of a talk here last week at the 7th World Congress on Mummy Studies, during which researchers—armed with Ötzi's newly sequenced genome and a detailed dental analysis—also concluded that the Iceman had brown eyes and probably wasn't much of a tooth brusher.

The Iceman, discovered in the Italian Alps in 1991 some 5200 years after his death, has been a gold mine of information about Neolithic life, as researchers have extensively studied his gear—copper ax, hide and leather clothing, and accessories—and his body. Previous research on the Iceman's meals focused on fecal material removed from his bowels. The contents showed that he dined on red deer meat and possibly cereal some 4 hours before his death.

But a team led by microbiologist Frank Maixner of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Italy, recently reexamined computed tomography scans taken in 2005 and spotted, for the first time, the Iceman's stomach. As the researchers reported at the meeting, the organ had moved upward to an unusual position, and it looked full. When they took a sample of the stomach contents and sequenced the DNA of the animal fibers they found, they discovered that Ötzi, just 30 to 120 minutes before his death, had dined on the meat of an Alpine ibex, an animal that frequents high elevations and whose body parts were once thought to possess medicinal qualities.

The new findings are "cutting edge" says Niels Lynnerup, a specialist in forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen. "We are now inching our way to the last minutes of the Iceman."

In a separate presentation, dentist Roger Seiler and anatomist Frank Rühli of the Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zürich, examined the dental health of the Iceman, who probably died between the age of 35 and 40. Previously, researchers examining radiological images of his teeth discerned no trace of cavities or other dental problems. But the Swiss team created new three-dimensional images of the ancient traveler's dentition. These showed that the Iceman suffered a blunt force trauma to two teeth—possibly a blow to the mouth—at least several days before his death and was plagued by both periodontal disease and cavities. The cavities, Seiler said in his talk, confirm that the Iceman ate a diet abounding in carbohydrates, such as bread or cereal, and reveal that he possessed a "heavy bacterial dose on these teeth."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancientautopsies; brucellamelitensis; dietandcuisine; goat; godsgravesglyphs; iceman; oetzi; otzi; theiceman

1 posted on 06/20/2011 5:57:52 PM PDT by Fractal Trader
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To: Fractal Trader

5,200 years ago.
Wow.


2 posted on 06/20/2011 6:01:52 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Eh ?)
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To: SunkenCiv

Ibex: It’s what’s for dinner!


3 posted on 06/20/2011 6:02:11 PM PDT by Fractal Trader
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To: Fractal Trader

Interesting, thanks for the post.


4 posted on 06/20/2011 6:03:07 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Fractal Trader

CAT scans and DNA sequencing are opening up so many new avenues in archaeology it will take decades to describe and catalog the data. Amazing stuff...

Isn’t there an active effort underway right now to clone a baby mammonth?? (I don’t feel like wading through Google at the moment, and Freepers know just about all...) As I recall, it was going to take something like five or six generations of very careful breeding, and using African elephants as foster mothers, but because so much intact mammoth DNA has been recovered and sequenced, the project is possible. There have been a number of intact or nearly intact and solidly frozen mammoths collected in just the last couple of decades that the DNA research is quite advanced...


5 posted on 06/20/2011 6:04:12 PM PDT by Bean Counter (Your what hurts??)
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To: Fractal Trader

I bet that Iceman never met an ibex like this one!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TugslL45aXk


6 posted on 06/20/2011 6:08:44 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I was laughing so hard, everyone in my house came to see what was so funny. A good time was had by all. Thanks.


7 posted on 06/20/2011 6:17:13 PM PDT by Gumption
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To: Fractal Trader
The DNA evidence also led to the discovery of the Ice Man's daughter:


8 posted on 06/20/2011 6:17:40 PM PDT by twister881
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To: Bean Counter

There is. A short article is here: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/17/scientists-trying-to-clone-resurrect-extinct-mammoth/?hpt=T2

I got this link from the wikipedia entry for ‘woolly mammoth’, which also has some interesting references on there being still surviving herds in the Siberian wilderness (at least to the early 1900’s). Caveat lector... but interesting.

An extinct animal or subspecies has already been brought back this way, some animal from the Pyrenees. I’m still looking for the link - it died shortly after birth though.


9 posted on 06/20/2011 6:23:47 PM PDT by OldNewYork
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To: twister881

Did not know she had a son and that he like ibex.


10 posted on 06/20/2011 6:25:08 PM PDT by org.whodat
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To: Fractal Trader

Phew, I thought this was about George Gervin.

11 posted on 06/20/2011 6:25:29 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Bean Counter

Found it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/4409958/Extinct-ibex-is-resurrected-by-cloning.html


12 posted on 06/20/2011 6:26:17 PM PDT by OldNewYork
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To: Fractal Trader

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_ibex


13 posted on 06/20/2011 6:27:13 PM PDT by org.whodat
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To: OldNewYork

Thanks for the link! That’s exactly what I was thinking of...I think Smithsonian did an article on this some time back, and I may dig through my back issues and see if I can find it again. It laid out the (presumed) required steps for a successful mammoth cloning, although there are a couple of different approaches.

This is definitely a marathon and not a sprint. A project like this could go on for years....


14 posted on 06/20/2011 6:29:14 PM PDT by Bean Counter (Your what hurts??)
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To: Bean Counter
There have been a number of intact or nearly intact and solidly frozen mammoths collected in just the last couple of decades that the DNA research is quite advanced...

We dug up one in a peat bog in northern IN many years ago. Still had some pliable meat on the bone.

15 posted on 06/20/2011 6:30:28 PM PDT by digger48
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To: Bean Counter

You’re welcome. I found out about this a few weeks ago, and have been imagining mammoth burgers, mammoth steaks, slow-cooked mammoth ribs since. I think if there were the funding this could move fairly rapidly - take a look at the ibex from the Pyrenees link too. There seem to be plenty of DNA available, from several different woolly mammoth, some in very good quality still. I thought I remembered the Russians working on this too, not just the Japanese, but can’t find that link as quickly.


16 posted on 06/20/2011 6:34:10 PM PDT by OldNewYork
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To: Fractal Trader

17 posted on 06/20/2011 6:37:17 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: Gumption

Did milk run out of your nose when you laughed? LOL!


18 posted on 06/20/2011 6:41:14 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Fractal Trader

19 posted on 06/20/2011 6:46:16 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Fractal Trader

Should have skipped the ibex and strolled on until he found a White Castle.


20 posted on 06/20/2011 6:47:11 PM PDT by Merrittk
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To: Yo-Yo

I was thinking The Ice Man Ted Koklinski (sp?).


21 posted on 06/20/2011 6:53:41 PM PDT by Williams (Honey Badger Don't Care)
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It may be that the #2 Ibex combo is what did him in


22 posted on 06/20/2011 6:57:27 PM PDT by woofie
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To: Fractal Trader

“heavy bacterial dose on these teeth.”


Whew!! Imagine the halitosis.


23 posted on 06/20/2011 7:34:05 PM PDT by boycott (CAL)
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To: Fractal Trader; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

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24 posted on 06/20/2011 9:23:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: digger48
We dug up one in a peat bog in northern IN many years ago. Still had some pliable meat on the bone.

So what did it taste like? :-)

25 posted on 06/21/2011 2:17:04 AM PDT by lowbridge (Rep. Dingell: "Its taken a long time.....to control the people.")
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To: Fractal Trader
Less than 2 hours before he hiked his last steps in the Tyrolean Alps 5000 years ago, Ötzi the Iceman

How did they know his name? Did they dig up his wallet too, with a photo ID? ;-)

Previous research on the Iceman's meals focused on fecal material removed from his bowels. The contents showed that he dined on red deer meat and possibly cereal some 4 hours before his death

What kind of cereal? Corn flakes, cheerios, lucky charms? ;-)

26 posted on 06/21/2011 2:19:43 AM PDT by lowbridge (Rep. Dingell: "Its taken a long time.....to control the people.")
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