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Italy's 5,000-Year-Old Iceman Put Up a Fight [DNA of 4 foes, venison and ibex his final meal]
Reuters/Yahoo ^ | 8-11-03 | Shasta Darlington

Posted on 08/14/2003 6:39:27 PM PDT by SJackson

ROME (Reuters) - A prehistoric Italian iceman nicknamed "Otzi" may have been shot in the back with an arrow, but he only died after prolonged combat with his foes, new DNA evidence has shown.

Reuters Photo

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The 5,000-year-old corpse, dug out of a glacier in northern Italy more than a decade ago, had traces of blood from four different people on his clothes and weapons, molecular archeologist Tom Loy said Wednesday.

He also had "defensive cut wounds" on his hands, wrists and rib cage, Loy said after recent blood and DNA tests. Loy, a senior lecturer at Queensland University in Brisbane, traveled to the northern Italian town of Bolzano for the research.

"Presumably he was in a combat situation for between 24 to 48 hours before he died," Loy said in a telephone interview.

"I think one of the things we could advance is that he shot at least two different people and retrieved his arrow, but then he shot at something else and missed, shattering his arrow."

Loy took initial blood samples from Otzi's arrows, knife and coat in July. Amplifying and sequencing the samples, he concluded they belonged to four different people -- not including Otzi himself.

"The plot thickens a bit now," Loy said. "Rather than a simple murder ... it looks like he may have put himself in a boundary situation where bloody battles often occur."

Otzi, the oldest mummy ever unearthed, was found in the Italian Alps in 1991. Scientists were thrilled to find he had remained frozen, and almost perfectly preserved, for thousands of years.

He wore clothing made from leather and grasses and carried a copper axe, a bow and arrows. Speculation immediately began about who he was and why he died where he did, but it was hard to do too much checking without damaging his body.

Later, an arrowhead was found in his left shoulder, suggesting Otzi did not simply freeze to death while climbing the high mountains, but was shot by a fellow hunter.

After studying the corpse's intestines, Italian researcher Franco Rollo concluded last year that the iceman's final meals consisted of venison and ibex meat.

The latest research gives scientists a glimpse of what the stone age hunter's last, bloody hours must have been like.

Loy said the tools that Otzi was carrying suggest he was a specialist hunter who often worked above the tree line in high passes that were often boundary areas between different, hostile language groups.

He said the blood found on the back of Otzi's coat could have come from a wounded companion that he was carrying, but that the arrows and knife blade suggest that he was also fighting off at least two foes.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancientautopsies; archaeology; dietandcuisine; genetics; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; history; iceman; oetzi; otzi; theiceman

1 posted on 08/14/2003 6:39:28 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
But the LAPD couldn't convict OJ. Go figure.
2 posted on 08/14/2003 6:40:33 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
Sure would be nice if they'd stop defiling this poor man and let him rest in peace.
3 posted on 08/14/2003 6:42:35 PM PDT by xrp
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To: xrp
Sure would be nice if they'd stop defiling this poor man and let him rest in peace.

Yes, it would. I don't think it's going to happen though.

4 posted on 08/14/2003 6:44:53 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
Obviously; he died throwing a left cross.
5 posted on 08/14/2003 6:50:57 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: SJackson
I was in Bolzano (Bozen to the Austrians) in July and saw the iceman exhibit. Very impressive. His clothes and implements, especially the copper axe, are fascinating. I agree that it would be better if his corpse were not on display; he deserves to rest in peace (it doesn't really look like a mummy, it looks like a partially decomposed corpse, which it is).

That said, the find and its study are fascinating. Anyone interested in details go to www.iceman.it. After selecting English scroll to the right for pictures and descriptions of all the clothes and equipment.

6 posted on 08/14/2003 6:51:13 PM PDT by JoeFromCA
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To: SJackson
"Otzi" may have been shot in the back with an arrow,

His real name was Prizzi

7 posted on 08/14/2003 6:56:44 PM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: xrp
Sure would be nice if they'd stop defiling this poor man and let him rest in peace.

I agree, the Splendid Splinter deserves his dignity.
Ohhh, you mean the Mummy...

8 posted on 08/14/2003 7:04:18 PM PDT by StatesEnemy
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To: xrp
if they'd stop defiling this poor man and let him rest in peace

If, 10K years after I die, someone digs up the meat that I used to wear, more power to them. It won't be me- I will be resting peacefully, (or not, if it turns out the muslims are correct) and what they do with my body interests me about as much as what they do with my shoes.

9 posted on 08/14/2003 7:06:34 PM PDT by fourdeuce82d
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: fourdeuce82d
Unless you're frozen or embalmed in some form or fashion, there will only be dry dust left after 10,000 years.
11 posted on 08/14/2003 7:14:31 PM PDT by xrp
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To: SJackson
Looks like Kofi Annan
12 posted on 08/14/2003 7:14:50 PM PDT by At _War_With_Liberals (Cruz "I only used the N word once and it happened to be in a speech to Ni....Afr Amers" Bustamente!)
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To: skeetr
Maybe, if time machines are ever invented, some liberals and their lawyer dogs can go back in time and sue whoever gave/sold him the meat.
13 posted on 08/14/2003 7:15:14 PM PDT by xrp
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: xrp
What, did Clinton ask him out?
15 posted on 08/14/2003 7:19:30 PM PDT by dr_who_2
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To: xrp
Nah. Most likely Otzi would mug them and then they'd come back as "neocons".
16 posted on 08/14/2003 7:25:20 PM PDT by dr_who_2
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To: fourdeuce82d
I agree. Don't really care what happens to my shell after my soul is gone.

I don't think this is a matter of disrespect but normal human curiosity of where did we come from, how did we make it this far.

17 posted on 08/14/2003 7:26:17 PM PDT by lizma
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To: JoeFromCA
Great link. Thanks.

South Tyrol Museum

18 posted on 08/14/2003 7:29:34 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: xrp
This is one reason why I wish to be creamated.
19 posted on 08/14/2003 7:33:31 PM PDT by Frapster (John 3:16)
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To: xrp
Unless you're frozen or embalmed in some form or fashion, there will only be dry dust left after 10,000 years.

regardless, I won't really care, and I wouldn't call it "defilement" nor will I worry about "resting in peace" either way. Disturb the dust, muck about with the frozen remnants of my carcass...unless I'm truly mistaken, it won't have anything to do with me at all, any more than ripping out my organs to benefit someone who could use them, using the meat to teach anatomy to doctors who will save lives...or hell, stealing the cadaver, dressing it up in women's lingery, and placing it in the bed of a drunken med student to scare the snot out of him.

I don't care- that's not me. It's my clothes.

Although I do think the whole "playing a joke" thing is somewhat tasteless, and at the very least should not be done until after my family has gone through the memorial service.

Then again some of my family members are so tight assed only bats can hear them fart-maybe it wouldn't be so bad if practical jokes were played w/the meat, if only to sacandalize them, and give them something to "harrump harrump harrump" about.

20 posted on 08/14/2003 7:45:39 PM PDT by fourdeuce82d
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To: Frapster
Wow, a European that actually fought. Too bad his kind can't reclaim their continent from the Euro-wussies.
21 posted on 08/14/2003 7:48:16 PM PDT by Democratshavenobrains
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To: SJackson
Fascinating.

Isn't it amazing how ingenious humans really are?
22 posted on 08/14/2003 8:20:02 PM PDT by LaraCroft ('Bout time)
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To: xrp
Sure would be nice if they'd stop defiling this poor man and let him rest in peace.

I don't know. He obviously fought well in his final battle, and it was never known to his people. Maybe it's right that he finally gets some recognition. He was a warrior, a hunter, not a farmer. It's good that he is recognized as such.

IMO.

23 posted on 08/14/2003 8:37:14 PM PDT by templar
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To: JoeFromCA
I was in Bolzano (Bozen to the Austrians)

I saw the exhibit in April just a few weeks after the war on Iraq began. One has to wear headphones for English narrations of the displays.

I never understood why my Italian friends always said that many northern Italians were blond and blue-eyed and much different than the southern Italians from which much Italian American stock is derived. It turns out that the Austrian Empire once extended down into northern Italy leaving a strong Germanic imprint on the culture there. If you think bilingualism is an American-Spanish problem, go to a northern Italian city or town. Official business has to be said once in Italian and then again in Italian. Each city has two names, Italian and German versions. They do have the world’s best tomatoes.

24 posted on 08/14/2003 9:12:58 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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To: nutmeg
read later bump
25 posted on 08/14/2003 9:14:04 PM PDT by nutmeg (Is the DemocRATic party extinct yet?)
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
...Austrian Empire ...

Yes but I believe the people you speak of were already there. Helvetians.

26 posted on 08/14/2003 9:23:02 PM PDT by gnarledmaw
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To: LibWhacker
LOL! That's why I love the FR!
27 posted on 08/14/2003 10:34:59 PM PDT by Thorondir
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To: SJackson
Wow! DNA?? I'm kind of glad they found his enemy's DNA on arrow tips. Since he was originally found laying on his stomach, I thought, ....well maybe,.... never mind. Boy, do I have a sick mind!!
28 posted on 08/14/2003 10:44:23 PM PDT by Lockbar
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
I never understood why my Italian friends always said that many northern Italians were blond and blue-eyed and much different than the southern Italians from which much Italian American stock is derived. It turns out that the Austrian Empire once extended down into northern Italy leaving a strong Germanic imprint on the culture there. If you think bilingualism is an American-Spanish problem, go to a northern Italian city or town. Official business has to be said once in Italian and then again in Italian. Each city has two names, Italian and German versions.

The Austrian Empire has nothing to do with it. The German-Italian language border is one of the oldest in Europe (goes back to 7th century). Annexation of Tyrol up to the Brenner Pass was the main price for Italy's entry into WWI on the side of the Entente and vs. her actual allies Austria and Germany. To keep an illusion of legitimacy, at the peace conference in Saint Germain Italians presented a fictional map of South Tyrol with 20.000 invented Italian topographic names.

If it wasn't for Mussolini, who with Hitler's assistance tried to italianize South Tyrol by banning the use of German, settling Italians in Bozen and Meran, transfering ethnically German as well as Ladin Tyrolians to the Reich, there'd barely be any Italians north of Cavalese at all.

Today Tyrolean patriotism is still strong, and only bought off by heavy subsidies from Rome. In the 60s power poles were blown up in a series of bombings, and even the UN were occupied with the problem. As late as 1992, after 22 years of negotiations, the matter was settled between Austria and Italy, and South Tyrol was granted autonomy.
29 posted on 08/15/2003 5:21:01 AM PDT by stck
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To: stck
The Austrian Empire has nothing to do with it. The German-Italian language border is one of the oldest in Europe (goes back to 7th century).

It's not quite clear to me when Italian arises as a recognized language once Latin died as a spoken language. I read that Italian comes to full fruition in the Renaissance, the 1300 or 1400‘s. After the fall of Rome, Lombards from Eastern Europe or Asia moved into northern Italy around 600. The Franks make a brief occupation a couple of hundred years later. Finally the Germans arrive, the Holy Roman Empire in the late 900’s. They stay for quite awhile until that empire falls apart. The Austrian Empire takes over lasting about 500 years until they fall apart at the end of WWI. Germans or Austrians, what’s the difference? They both speak German. I got all this from the Penguin Atlas’s of History in about five minutes.

30 posted on 08/15/2003 7:19:05 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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Just adding this to the GGG catalog, not sending a general distribution.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

31 posted on 06/15/2005 9:36:28 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
I never understood why my Italian friends always said that many northern Italians were blond and blue-eyed and much different than the southern Italians from which much Italian American stock is derived. It turns out that the Austrian Empire once extended down into northern Italy leaving a strong Germanic imprint on the culture there

This is true! My grandmother on my father's side was from northern Italy, in an area near Parma called Seren di Grappa. Her maiden name was Biondini, which means "little blonde" - and true enough, she and two of her sons have the fair hair/fair skin/blue eyes. My dad's hair was black as coal, but he has the blue eyes as well.

32 posted on 06/15/2005 9:41:25 AM PDT by Alkhin
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
Official business has to be said once in Italian and then again in Italian

Second time with feeling.

33 posted on 06/15/2005 9:41:26 AM PDT by RightWhale (Some may think I am a methodist)
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To: stck
I seem to recall that 14 Italians won medals at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. When asked by a reporter if they spoke a foreign language, they answered "Yes, Italian."
34 posted on 06/15/2005 10:11:17 AM PDT by OESY
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