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Where was the Iceman's home, and what was he doing at the high mountain pass where he died?
Painstaking research--especially of plant remains found with the body--contradicts many of the initial speculations On a clear day in September 1991 a couple hiking along a high ridge in the Alps came upon a corpse melting out of the ice.
In fact, they discovered one of the world's oldest and best preserved mummies. He was about 5 foot, 3 inches tall and weighed 110 pounds. He lacked a twelfth pair of ribs - a rare anatomical anomaly. The Iceman had a remarkable diastema, or natural gap, between his two upper incisors. Even though he suffered from cavities, worn teeth and periodontal diseases, he still had all his teeth when he died at around 45. Researchers are still investigating the sampled material to determine the exact nature on the Iceman's last meal. Three gallbladder stones were recently found which, in combination with the previously identified atherosclerosis, show that Ötzi's diet may have been richer in animal products than previously thought. The Iceman's stomach also contained 30 different types of pollen, which ended up there with the food he ate, the water he drank and the air he breathed.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of this sensational discovery, here are 20 known and lesser known facts about the Neothiltic frozen mummy. An incredible chain of coincidences allowed the Iceman to remain intact: he was covered by snow shortly after his death and later by ice; the deep gully where the Iceman lay prevented the body from being ground up by the base of the glacier; the body was exposed to damaging sunlight and wind only for a short time in 1991 between the time the mummy thawed and the accidental discovery. It was an Austrian reporter, Karl Wendl, who first named the mummy "Ötzi," referring to the Ötzal Alps where it was found. Recent investigations established that he had brown eyes, not blue as previously thought. The pollen showed that he died in the spring or early summer. Analysis of the isotopic composition of Ötzi's tooth enamel and bones suggest that the man was born and lived in what is now South Tyrol.
Spindler and other scientists deduced that his body and belongings had been preserved in the ice until a fall of dust from the Sahara and an unusually warm spell combined to melt the ice, exposing the mans head, back and shoulders.Not only that, we top up our carbon-14 levels every time we eat.And plants top up their radioactive carbon every time they turn carbon dioxide to food during photosynthesis.Ötzi the Iceman in his new cell at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano.Strictly copyrighted: Museo Archeologico dell'Alto Adige – 20 years ago, on Sept.