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Ötzi the Iceman

Ötzi is located in Alps
Discovery site marked on a map of the Alps

Ötzi (German pronunciation:  (About this sound listen); also called the Iceman, the Similaun Man, the Man from Hauslabjoch, the Tyrolean Iceman, and the Hauslabjoch mummy) is a nickname given to the well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE.[2] The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, hence the nickname "Ötzi", near Similaun mountain and Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy.[3] He is Europe's oldest known natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic Europeans. His body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy.

Ötzi the Iceman half uncovered, face down in a pool of water with iced banks
Ötzi the Iceman while still frozen in the glacier, photographed by Helmut Simon upon the discovery of the body in September 1991

Ötzi was found on 19 September 1991 by two German tourists, at an elevation of 3,210 metres (10,530 ft) on the east ridge of the Fineilspitze in the Ötztal Alps on the Austrian–Italian border. The tourists, Helmut and Erika Simon, were walking off the path between the mountain passes Hauslabjoch and Tisenjoch. They believed that the body was of a recently deceased mountaineer.[4] The next day, a mountain gendarme and the keeper of the nearby Similaunhütte first attempted to remove the body, which was frozen in ice below the torso, using a pneumatic drill and ice-axes, but had to give up due to bad weather. The next day, eight groups visited the site, among whom happened to be the famous mountaineers Hans Kammerlander and Reinhold Messner. The body was semi-officially extracted on 22 September and officially salvaged the following day. It was transported to the office of the medical examiner in Innsbruck, together with other objects found. On 24 September the find was examined there by archaeologist Konrad Spindler of the University of Innsbruck. He dated the find to be "about four thousand years old", based on the typology of an axe among the retrieved objects.[5] [6]

At the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of 1919, the border between North and South Tyrol was defined as the watershed of the rivers Inn and Etsch. However, near Tisenjoch the (now withdrawn) glacier complicated establishing the watershed at the time and the border was established too far north. Therefore, although Ötzi's find site drains to the Austrian side, surveys in October 1991 showed that the body had been located 92.56 metres (101.22 yd) inside Italian territory as delineated in 1919.[7] The province of South Tyrol therefore claimed property rights, but agreed to let Innsbruck University finish its scientific examinations. Since 1998, it has been on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, the capital of South Tyrol.

Scientific analyses

The corpse has been extensively examined, measured, X-rayed, and dated. Tissues and intestinal contents have been examined microscopically, as have the items found with the body. In August 2004, frozen bodies of three Austro-Hungarian soldiers killed during the Battle of San Matteo (1918) were found on the mountain Punta San Matteo in Trentino. One body was sent to a museum in the hope that research on how the environment affected its preservation would help unravel Ötzi's past.[8]


By current estimates, at the time of his death Ötzi was approximately 1.65 metres (5 ft 5 in) tall,[9] weighed about 61 kilograms (134 lb)[10] and was about 45 years of age.[9] When his body was found, it weighed 13.750 kilograms (30.31 lb).[11] Because the body was covered in ice shortly after his death, it had only partially deteriorated. Initial reports claimed that his penis and most of his scrotum were missing, but this was later shown to be unfounded.[12] Analysis of pollen, dust grains and the isotopic composition of his tooth enamel indicates that he spent his childhood near the present village of Feldthurns, north of Bolzano, but later went to live in valleys about 50 kilometres farther north.[13]

Analysis of Ötzi's intestinal contents showed two meals (the last one consumed about eight hours before his death), one of chamois meat, the other of red deer and herb bread. Both were eaten with grain as well as roots and fruits. The grain from both meals was a highly processed einkorn wheat bran,[14] quite possibly eaten in the form of bread. In the proximity of the body, and thus possibly originating from the Iceman's provisions, chaff and grains of einkorn and barley, and seeds of flax and poppy were discovered, as well as kernels of sloes (small plumlike fruits of the blackthorn tree) and various seeds of berries growing in the wild.[15] Hair analysis was used to examine his diet from several months before.

Pollen in the first meal showed that it had been consumed in a mid-altitude conifer forest, and other pollens indicated the presence of wheat and legumes, which may have been domesticated crops. Pollen grains of hop-hornbeam were also discovered. The pollen was very well preserved, with the cells inside remaining intact, indicating that it had been fresh (estimated about two hours old) at the time of Ötzi's death, which places the event in the spring, or early summer. Einkorn wheat is harvested in the late summer, and sloes in the autumn; these must have been stored from the previous year.

In 2009, a CAT scan revealed that the stomach had shifted upward to where his lower lung area would normally be. Analysis of the contents revealed the partly digested remains of ibex meat, confirmed by DNA analysis, suggesting he had a meal less than two hours before his death. Wheat grains were also found.[16]

High levels of both copper particles and arsenic were found in Ötzi's hair. This, along with Ötzi's copper axe blade, which is 99.7% pure copper, has led scientists to speculate that Ötzi was involved in copper smelting.[17]

By examining the proportions of Ötzi's tibia, femur and pelvis, Christopher Ruff has determined that Ötzi's lifestyle included long walks over hilly terrain. This degree of mobility is not characteristic of other Copper Age Europeans. Ruff proposes that this may indicate that Ötzi was a high-altitude shepherd.[18]

Using modern 3-D technology, a facial reconstruction has been created for the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy. It shows Ötzi looking old for his 45 years, with deep-set brown eyes, a beard, a furrowed face, and sunken cheeks. He is depicted looking tired and ungroomed.[19]


Ötzi apparently had whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), an intestinal parasite. During CT scans, it was observed that three or four of his right ribs had been cracked when he had been lying face down after death, or where the ice had crushed his body. One of his fingernails (of the two found) shows three Beau's lines indicating he was sick three times in the six months before he died. The last incident, two months before he died, lasted about two weeks.[20] Also, it was found that his epidermis, the outer skin layer, was missing, a natural process from his mummification in ice.[10] Ötzi's teeth showed considerable internal deterioration from cavities. These oral pathologies may have been brought about by his grain-heavy, high carbohydrate diet.[21] DNA analysis in February 2012 revealed that Ötzi was lactose intolerant, supporting the theory that lactose intolerance was still common at that time, despite the increasing spread of agriculture and dairying.[22]

Skeletal details and tattooing

Ötzi had a total of 61 tattoos (or Soot tattoos), consisting of 19 groups of black lines ranging from 1 to 3 mm in thickness and 7 to 40 mm long.[23] These include groups of parallel lines running along the longitudinal axis of his body and to both sides of the lumbar spine, as well as a cruciform mark behind the right knee and on the right ankle, and parallel lines around the left wrist. The greatest concentration of markings is found on his legs, which together exhibit 12 groups of lines.[24] A microscopic examination of samples collected from these tattoos revealed that they were created from pigment manufactured out of fireplace ash or soot.[25]

Radiological examination of Ötzi's bones showed "age-conditioned or strain-induced degeneration" corresponding to many tattooed areas, including osteochondrosis and slight spondylosis in the lumbar spine and wear-and-tear degeneration in the knee and especially in the ankle joints.[26] It has been speculated that these tattoos may have been related to pain relief treatments similar to acupressure or acupuncture.[24] If so, this is at least 2,000 years before their previously known earliest use in China (c. 1000 BCE).[27] Recent research into archaeological evidence for ancient tattooing has confirmed that Ötzi is the oldest tattooed human mummy yet discovered.[28] [29]

Clothes and shoes
Archeoparc (Schnals valley / South Tyrol). Museum: Reconstruction of the neolithic clothes worn by Ötzi
Line drawing of a right shoe
An artist's impression of Ötzi's right shoe

Ötzi's clothes were sophisticated. He wore a cloak made of woven grass[30] and a coat, a belt, a pair of leggings, a loincloth and shoes, all made of leather of different skins. He also wore a bearskin cap with a leather chin strap. The shoes were waterproof and wide, seemingly designed for walking across the snow; they were constructed using bearskin for the soles, deer hide for the top panels, and a netting made of tree bark. Soft grass went around the foot and in the shoe and functioned like modern socks. The coat, belt, leggings and loincloth were constructed of vertical strips of leather sewn together with sinew. His belt had a pouch sewn to it that contained a cache of useful items: a scraper, drill, flint flake, bone awl and a dried fungus.[31]

The shoes have since been reproduced by a Czech academic, who said that "because the shoes are actually quite complex, I'm convinced that even 5,300 years ago, people had the equivalent of a cobbler who made shoes for other people". The reproductions were found to constitute such excellent footwear that it was reported that a Czech company offered to purchase the rights to sell them.[32] However, a more recent hypothesis by British archaeologist Jacqui Wood says that Ötzi's "shoes" were actually the upper part of snowshoes. According to this theory, the item currently interpreted as part of a "backpack" is actually the wood frame and netting of one snowshoe and animal hide to cover the face.[33]

The leather loincloth and hide coat were made from sheepskin. Genetic analysis showed that the sheep species was nearer to modern domestic European sheep than to wild sheep; the items were made from the skins of at least four animals. Part of the coat was made from domesticated goat belonging to a mitochondrial haplogroup (a common female ancestor) that inhabits central Europe today.

The coat was made from several animals from two different species and was stitched together with hides available at the time.

The leggings were made from domesticated goat leather. A similar set of 6,500-year-old leggings discovered in Switzerland were made from goat leather which may indicate the goat leather was specifically chosen.

Shoelaces were made from the European genetic population of cattle. The quiver was made from wild roe deer, the fur hat was made from a genetic lineage of brown bear which lives in the region today. Writing in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from Ireland and Italy reported their analysis of mitochondrial DNA, that was extracted from nine fragments from six of his garments, including his loin cloth and fur cap.[34] [35] [36]

Tools and equipment
A replica of Ötzi's copper axe

Other items found with the Iceman were a copper axe with a yew handle, a flint-bladed knife with an ash handle and a quiver of 14 arrows with viburnum and dogwood shafts. Two of the arrows, which were broken, were tipped with flint and had fletching (stabilizing fins), while the other 12 were unfinished and untipped. The arrows were found in a quiver with what is presumed to be a bow string, an unidentified tool, and an antler tool which might have been used for sharpening arrow points.[37] There was also an unfinished yew longbow that was 1.82 metres (72 in) long.[38]

In addition, among Ötzi's possessions were berries, two birch bark baskets, and two species of polypore mushrooms with leather strings through them. One of these, the birch fungus, is known to have anthelmintic properties, and was probably used for medicinal purposes.[39] The other was a type of tinder fungus, included with part of what appeared to be a complex firelighting kit. The kit featured pieces of over a dozen different plants, in addition to flint and pyrite for creating sparks.

Ötzi's copper axe was of particular interest. The axe's haft is 60 centimetres (24 in) long and made from carefully worked yew with a right-angled crook at the shoulder, leading to the blade. The 9.5 centimetres (3.7 in) long axe head is made of almost pure copper, produced by a combination of casting, cold forging, polishing, and sharpening. Despite the fact that copper ore sources in the Alpines are known to have been exploited at the time, a study indicated that the copper in the axe came from southern Tuscany.[40] It was let into the forked end of the crook and fixed there using birch-tar and tight leather lashing. The blade part of the head extends out of the lashing and shows clear signs of having been used to chop and cut. At the time, such an axe would have been a valuable possession, important both as a tool and as a status symbol for the bearer.[41]

Genetic analysis

Ötzi's full genome has been sequenced; the report on this was published on 28 February 2012.[42] The Y-DNA of Ötzi belongs to a subclade of G defined by the SNPs M201, P287, P15, L223 and L91 (G-L91, ISOGG G2a2b, former "G2a4"). He was not typed for any of the subclades downstreaming from G-L91. G-L91 is now mostly found in South Corsica.

Analysis of his mitochondrial DNA showed that Ötzi belongs to the K1 subclade, but cannot be categorized into any of the three modern branches of that subclade (K1a, K1b or K1c). The new subclade has provisionally been named K1ö for Ötzi.[43] Multiplex assay study was able to confirm that the Iceman's mtDNA belongs to a previously unknown European mtDNA clade with a very limited distribution among modern data sets.[44]

By autosomal DNA, Ötzi is most closely related to southern Europeans, especially to geographically isolated populations like Corsicans and Sardinians.[45] [46] [47] [48]

DNA analysis also showed him at high risk of atherosclerosis and lactose intolerance, with the presence of the DNA sequence of Borrelia burgdorferi, possibly making him the earliest known human with Lyme disease.[42] [49] A later analysis suggested the sequence may have been a different Borrelia species.[50]

A 2012 paper by paleoanthropologist John Hawks suggests that Ötzi had a higher degree of Neanderthal ancestry than modern Europeans.[51]

In October 2013, it was reported that 19 modern Tyrolean men were related to Ötzi. Scientists from the Institute of Legal Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University had analysed the DNA of over 3,700 Tyrolean male blood donors and found 19 who shared a particular genetic mutation with the 5,300-year-old man.[52]


In May 2012, scientists announced the discovery that Ötzi still had intact blood cells. These are the oldest complete human blood cells ever identified. In most bodies this old, the blood cells are either shrunken or mere remnants, but Ötzi's have the same dimensions as living red blood cells and resembled a modern-day sample.[53] [54]

H. pylori analysis

In 2016, researchers reported on a study from the extraction of twelve samples from the gastrointestinal tract of Ötzi to analyze the origins of the Helicobacter pylori in his gut.[55] The H. pylori strain found in his gastrointestinal tract was, surprisingly, the hpAsia2 strain, a strain today found primarily in South Asian and Central Asian populations, with extremely rare occurrences in modern European populations.[55] The strain found in Ötzi's gut is most similar to three modern individuals from Northern India; the strain itself is, of course, older than the modern Northern Indian strain.[55]

Last meal

It is believed that Ötzi most likely had a few slices of a dried, fatty meat, probably bacon which came from a wild goat in South Tyrol, Italy.[56]

Cause of death
The Ötzi memorial near Tisenjoch. Ötzi was found ca. 70 m NE of here, a place indicated with a red mark (not in this photo). The mountain in the background is the Fineilspitze
Naturalistic reconstruction of Ötzi – South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology (2011)

The cause of death remained uncertain until 10 years after the discovery of the body.[57] It was initially believed that Ötzi died from exposure during a winter storm. Later it was speculated that Ötzi might have been a victim of a ritual sacrifice, perhaps for being a chieftain.[58] [59] This explanation was inspired by theories previously advanced for the first millennium BCE bodies recovered from peat bogs such as the Tollund Man and the Lindow Man.[59]

In 2001 X-rays and a CT scan revealed that Ötzi had an arrowhead lodged in his left shoulder when he died,[60] and a matching small tear on his coat.[61] The discovery of the arrowhead prompted researchers to theorize Ötzi died of blood loss from the wound, which would probably have been fatal even if modern medical techniques had been available.[62] Further research found that the arrow's shaft had been removed before death, and close examination of the body found bruises and cuts to the hands, wrists and chest and cerebral trauma indicative of a blow to the head. One of the cuts was to the base of his thumb that reached down to the bone but had no time to heal before his death. Currently, it is believed that Ötzi bled to death after the arrow shattered the scapula and damaged nerves and blood vessels before lodging near the lung.[1]

Recent DNA analyses claim they revealed traces of blood from at least four other people on his gear: one from his knife, two from the same arrowhead, and a fourth from his coat.[63] [64] Interpretations of these findings were that Ötzi killed two people with the same arrow, and was able to retrieve it on both occasions, and the blood on his coat was from a wounded comrade he may have carried over his back.[61] Ötzi's posture in death (frozen body, face down, left arm bent across the chest) could support a theory that before death occurred and rigor mortis set in, the Iceman was turned onto his stomach in the effort to remove the arrow shaft.[65]

In 2010, it was proposed that Ötzi died at a much lower altitude and was buried higher in the mountains, as posited by archaeologist Alessandro Vanzetti of the Sapienza University of Rome and his colleagues.[66] According to their study of the items found near Ötzi and their locations, it is possible that the iceman may have been placed above what has been interpreted as a stone burial mound but was subsequently moved with each thaw cycle that created a flowing watery mix driven by gravity before being re-frozen.[67] While archaeobotanist Klaus Oeggl of the University of Innsbruck agrees that the natural process described probably caused the body to move from the ridge that includes the stone formation, he pointed out that the paper provided no compelling evidence to demonstrate that the scattered stones constituted a burial platform.[67] Moreover, biological anthropologist Albert Zink argues that the iceman's bones display no dislocations that would have resulted from a downhill slide and that the intact blood clots in his arrow wound would show damage if the body had been moved up the mountain.[67] In either case, the burial theory does not contradict the possibility of a violent cause of death.

Legal dispute

Italian law entitled the Simons to a finders' fee from the South Tyrolean provincial government of 25% of the value of Ötzi. In 1994 the authorities offered a "symbolic" reward of 10 million lire (€5,200), which the Simons turned down.[68] In 2003, the Simons filed a lawsuit which asked a court in Bolzano to recognize their role in Ötzi's discovery and declare them his "official discoverers". The court decided in the Simons' favor in November 2003, and at the end of December that year the Simons announced that they were seeking US$300,000 as their fee. The provincial government decided to appeal.[69]

In addition, two people came forward to claim that they were part of the same mountaineering party that came across Ötzi and discovered the body first:

  • Magdalena Mohar Jarc, a retired Slovenian climber, who alleged that she discovered the corpse first after falling into a crevice, and shortly after returning to a mountain hut, asked Helmut Simon to take photographs of Ötzi. She cited Reinhold Messner, who was also present in the mountain hut, as the witness to this.[70]
  • Sandra Nemeth, from Switzerland, who contended that she found the corpse before Helmut and Erika Simon, and that she spat on Ötzi to make sure that her DNA would be found on the body later. She asked for a DNA test on the remains, but experts believed that there was little chance of finding any trace.[71]

In 2005 the rival claims were heard by a Bolzano court. The legal case angered Mrs. Simon, who alleged that neither woman was present on the mountain that day.[71] In 2005, Mrs. Simon's lawyer said: "Mrs. Simon is very upset by all this and by the fact that these two new claimants have decided to appear 14 years after Ötzi was found."[71] In 2008, however, Jarc stated for a Slovene newspaper that she wrote twice to the Bolzano court in regard to her claim but received no reply whatsoever.[70]

In 2004, Helmut Simon died. Two years later, in June 2006, an appeals court affirmed that the Simons had indeed discovered the Iceman and were therefore entitled to a finder's fee. It also ruled that the provincial government had to pay the Simons' legal costs. After this ruling, Mrs. Erika Simon reduced her claim to €150,000. The provincial government's response was that the expenses it had incurred to establish a museum and the costs of preserving the Iceman should be considered in determining the finder's fee. It insisted it would pay no more than €50,000. In September 2006, the authorities appealed the case to Italy's highest court, the Court of Cassation.[69]

On 29 September 2008 it was announced that the provincial government and Mrs. Simon had reached a settlement of the dispute, under which she would receive €150,000 in recognition of Ötzi's discovery by her and her late husband and the tourist income that it attracts.[68] [72]

"Ötzi's curse"

Influenced by the "Curse of the pharaohs" and the media theme of cursed mummies, claims have been made that Ötzi is cursed. The allegation revolves around the deaths of several people connected to the discovery, recovery and subsequent examination of Ötzi. It is alleged that they have died under mysterious circumstances. These persons include co-discoverer Helmut Simon[73] and Konrad Spindler, the first examiner of the mummy in Austria in 1991.[74] To date, the deaths of seven people, of which four were accidental, have been attributed to the alleged curse. In reality hundreds of people were involved in the recovery of Ötzi and are still involved in studying the body and the artifacts found with it. The fact that a small percentage of them have died over the years has not been shown to be statistically significant.[75] [76]

See also
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  72. Nick Squires (29 September 2008), "Oetzi The Iceman's discoverers finally compensated: A bitter dispute over the payment of a finder's fee for two hikers who discovered the world famous Oetzi The Iceman mummy has finally been settled", The Daily Telegraph, archived from the original on 2 October 2008
  73. Reuters in Vienna (19 October 2004), "Iceman's finder missing", The Guardian; Stephen Goodwin (25 October 2004), "Helmut Simon: Finder of a Bronze Age man in the alpine snow [obituary]", The Independent, archived from the original on 1 October 2007
  74. Barbara McMahon (20 April 2005), "Scientist seen as latest 'victim' of Iceman", The Guardian, archived from the original on 9 December 2007
  75. "Is there an Ötzi curse?", Ötsi – the Iceman, South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, archived from the original on 21 August 2012, retrieved 15 August 2012, hundreds of people have worked on the Iceman project, and many years have passed since the corpse was first discovered. It is therefore not remarkable that some of those people have since died.
  76. The Curse of the Ice Mummy, a television documentary screened on UK Channel 4 on 8 March 2007. See also Kathy Marks (5 November 2005), "Curse of Oetzi the Iceman strikes again", The Independent, archived from the original on 18 May 2007 (also reported as Kathy Marks (5 November 2005), "Curse of Oetzi the Iceman claims another victim", The New Zealand Herald); Nick Squires (5 November 2005), "Seventh victim of the Ice Man's 'curse'", The Daily Telegraph, archived from the original on 11 October 2007
Further reading
  • Deem, James (2008), Bodies from the Ice, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 64, ISBN 0-618-80045-X
  • Bortenschlager, Sigmar; Oeggl, Klaus, eds. (2000), The Iceman and His Natural Environment: Palaeobotanical Results, Wien; New York, N.Y.: Springer, ISBN 3-211-82660-2 .
  • Fowler, Brenda (2000), Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of a Prehistoric Man Found in an Alpine Glacier, New York, N.Y.: Random House, ISBN 0-679-43167-5.
  • Spindler, Konrad (2001), The Man in the Ice: The Preserved Body of a Neolithic Man Reveals the Secrets of the Stone Age, Ewald Osers (trans.), London: Phoenix, ISBN 0-7538-1260-6.
  • De Marinis, Raffaele C.; Brillante, Giuseppe (1998), La Mummia del Similaun: Ötzi, l'Uomo Venuto dal Ghiaccio [The Mummy of the Similaun: Ötzi, the Man who Came from the Ice], Venice, Italy: Marsilio, ISBN 88-317-7073-X (in Italian)
  • Fleckinger, Angelika; Steiner, Hubert (2000) [1998], L'Uomo Venuto dal Ghiaccio [The Man who Came from the Ice], Bolzano, Italy: Folio, ISBN 88-86857-03-9 (in Italian)
External links
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Look up iceman in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Iceman often refers to: Iceman (occupation) , a vendor who sells ice from a wagon or cart Iceman , The Iceman , Ice Man , or Ice Men may also refer to: People The Iceman (nickname) , a list alias of Max Butler (born 1972), American cyber criminal alias of Wim Hof (born 1959), a Dutch daredevil known for his resistance to cold alias of Richard Kuklinski (1935–2006), American serial killer a ring name of Jeff Hardy (born 1977), American professional wrestler a ring name of Chuck Liddell (born 1969), American retired mixed martial arts fighter a ring name of Dean Malenko (born 1960), American retired professional wrestler a ring name of King Parsons (born 1950), American professional wrestler a monicker of Kimi Räikkönen (born 1979), Finnish racing driver and the 2007 Formula 1 world champion Iceman John Scully , a ring name of John Scully (born 1967), American professional boxer Minnesota Iceman , a purported man-like "missing link" frozen in ice and displayed ...more...

DJ Ötzi


Gerhard (Gerry) Friedle (born 7 January 1971) is an Austrian entertainer and singer, better known by his stage name DJ Ötzi ( pronounced ). Successful mainly in German-speaking countries, he is best known in the English-speaking world for his 2000 single " Hey Baby (Uhh, Ahh) ", a cover version of the Bruce Channel song " Hey! Baby ". His stage name comes from Ötzi the Iceman , the name given to the 5,300-year-old frozen remains of a mummified man discovered 1991 in South Tyrol's Ötztal Alps . Biography Early life DJ Ötzi was born as Gerhard Friedle in St. Johann , Tirol , and is the son of DJ Anton Friedle. Shortly after birth, his mother, age 17-years at the time, gave him up for adoption . He was raised by foster parents and later by his paternal grandparents in the nearby village of Erpfendorf in Tirol . At a young age he suffered from epilepsy , at age 16, his avulsion from home, landed him for a short time homelessness living on the streets. His career arose gradually, first working as a student co ...more...

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology


South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology ( German : Südtiroler Archäologiemuseum ; Italian : Museo archeologico dell'Alto Adige ) is an archaeological museum in the city of Bolzano , South Tyrol , Italy . It is the home of the preserved body of Ötzi the Iceman . History The museum was specifically established in 1998 to house "Ötzi", a well-preserved natural mummy of a man from about 3300 BC (53 centuries ago). This is the world's oldest natural human mummy, a wet mummy, as opposed to mummies preserved by dry conditions in a desert environment. It has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic ( Copper Age ) European culture. The world's oldest complete copper age axe was found among his extensive equipment which also comprised a rather complex fire lighting kit and a quiver loaded with twelve arrows, only two of which were finished, clothing and a flint knife complete with its sheath . The body is held in a climate controlled chamber within the museum at a temperature of -6 Celsius and 98% humidity, replicating ...more...

33rd century BC


The 33rd century BC was a century which lasted from the year 3300 BC to 3201 BC. Events The sun shines over Saharan dunes Major climate shift possibly due to shift in solar activity. Glaciers expand, covering plants. Atmospheric temperatures fall. Sahara changes from a habitable region into a barren desert Ancient Egypt begins using clay, bone and ivory tags to label boxes, possibly an example of proto-writing Indus Valley Civilization (also known as Harappan civilization or Sindu-Sarasvati civilization) begins in Harappa c. 3300 BC, Harappan script is discovered in Indus Valley (present day Pakistan) c. 3300 BC—Pictographs in Uruk 3300 BC to 3000 BC: Face of a woman, from Uruk (modern Warka, Iraq) is made. It is now in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad (stolen and recovered in 2003). c. 3300 BC The Red Temple, the first phase of the Monte d'Accoddi sanctuary in Northwest Sardinia, is built. 3300-3000 BC Evidence of proto-Thracians or proto-Dacians in the prehistoric period. Proto-Dacian or proto-Thrac ...more...



The Similaun ( German pronunciation:  (   listen ) ) is a mountain in the Schnalskamm group of the Ötztal Alps . It is on the Austrian - Italian border. At 3,606 m, it is Austria's sixth highest summit. It was first ascended in 1834 by Josef Raffeiner and Theodor Kaserer. It is most famous for being the mountain on whose slopes Helmut Simon and Erika Simon discovered Ötzi the Iceman in 1991. Ötzi memorial The Similaun ( German pronunciation:  (   listen ) ) is a mountain in the Schnalskamm group of the Ötztal Alps . It is on the Austrian - Italian border. At 3,606 m, it is Austria's sixth highest summit. It was first ascended in 1834 by Josef Raffeiner and Theodor Kaserer. It is most famous for being the mountain on whose slopes Helmut Simon and Erika Simon discovered Ötzi the Iceman in 1991. Ötzi memorial ...more...

Soot tattoo


Soot tattoos are a cutaneous condition that may be a sign of drug abuse , a condition produced by injections of residual carbon on the needle after flaming of the tip. Soot tattoo in history Carbon-based pigments such as soot have been used to create tattoos on human skin all across the world for at least the last 5,300 years. The oldest examples of carbon-based tattooing discovered to date appear as 61 marks on the body of the 5,300 year old Tyrolean ice mummy known as Ötzi , discovered in 1991 near Similaun mountain and Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy. Skin samples from several of the Inceman's tattoos were examined by researchers using optical microscopes, bright field transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS), electron energy loss spectrometry (EELS), energy filtering TEM (EFTEM) and electron diffraction. This work determined that Ötzi's tattoos were created using carbon-base pigments derived from soot and ash. Microscopic quartz crystals ide ...more...

Ötztal Alps


The Ötztal Alps ( Italian : Alpi Venoste , German : Ötztaler Alpen ) are a mountain range in the Central Eastern Alps , in the State of Tyrol in southern Austria and the Province of South Tyrol in northern Italy . Geography The Ötztal Alps are arrayed at the head of the Ötztal valley, a side valley of the Inn river southwest of Innsbruck , Austria. One line of summits forms part of the border between Austria and Italy. The Ötztal Alps are bordered by the Reschen Pass (1504 m) in the west and the Inn river in the northwest and north. In the east the range is separated from the Stubai Alps by the Ötztaler Ache in the Ötztal, the Timmelsjoch (2474 m) and the Passer river in the Passeier Valley . On the south and southwest, the range is limited by the deep valley of the Etsch river, here known as the Vinschgau . In September 1991, Ötzi the so-called "Iceman" was found on the Hauslabjoch between the peaks Fineilspitze and Similaun . Peaks Brandenburger house and Weißkugel The highest point of the Ötztal Alps is Wi ...more...



Feldthurns ( German pronunciation: ; Italian : Velturno ) is a comune (municipality) in South Tyrol in northern Italy about 25 kilometres (16 mi) northeast of Bolzano . Geography As of 30 November 2010, it had a population of 2,740 and an area of 24.8 square kilometres (9.6 sq mi). Feldthurns borders Brixen , Klausen , Villnöß and Vahrn . Frazioni The municipality of Feldthurns contains the frazioni (subdivisions, mainly villages and hamlets) Garn (Caerne), Schnauders (Snodres), Schrambach (San Pietro Mezzomonte), Tschiffnon (Giovimano). History Coat-of-arms The emblem is party per fess : in the first part it's represented two embattled towers of gules , the second is checky of gules . It's the canting arms used in 1607 in the castle by the Bishops of Brixen and symbolize the German name of the municipality: towers (Thurn) over the fields (Feld). The emblem was granted in 1966. Ötzi the Iceman is attested to have spent his childhood here, some 5,300 years ago. Society Linguistic distribution According to the ...more...

Beau's lines


Beau's lines are deep grooved lines that run from side to side on the fingernail or the toenail. They may look like indentations or ridges in the nail plate . This condition of the nail was named by a French physician, Joseph Honoré Simon Beau (1806–1865), who first described it in 1846. Beau's lines are horizontal, going across the nail, and should not be confused with vertical ridges going from the bottom ( cuticle ) of the nail out to the fingertip. These vertical lines are usually a natural consequence of aging and are harmless. Beau's lines should also be distinguished from Muehrcke's lines of the fingernails. While Beau's lines are actual ridges and indentations in the nail plate, Muehrcke lines are areas of hypopigmentation without palpable ridges; they affect the underlying nail bed, and not the nail itself. Beau's lines should also be distinguished from Mees' lines of the fingernails, which are areas of discoloration in the nail plate. There are several causes of Beau's lines. It is believed that ...more...

Mummies Alive


Disambiguation: for the 1997 American cartoon series, see Mummies Alive! Mummies Alive is a 2015 six-part television historical documentary series about mummies , that was shown on various networks, including on Smithsonian Channel (US), History (Canada), Yesterday (UK), ZDF (Germany), and SBS One (Australia). It was produced by Saloon Media and Impossible Factual, in association with Shaw Media . Directed by Mick Grogan and narrated by Jason Priestley , the six one-hour episodes center around mummies that have been found all around the world and the stories and legends surrounding their deaths. Episodes The Gunslinger Mummy Buried in a Bog Otzi the Iceman The Inca Maiden The Pharaoh's Secret The Hero of Herculaneum References "Mummies Alive" . History . Retrieved 17 June 2015 . ...more...

Fire striker


Assorted reproduction firesteels typical of Roman to medieval period Late 18th century firesteels from Brittany A fire striker is a piece of carbon steel from which sparks are struck by the sharp edge of flint , chert or similar rock. A Fire Striker is a specific tool used in firemaking . History In early times, percussion firemaking was often used to start fires. Before the advent of steel, a variety of iron pyrite or marcasite was used with flint and other stones to produce a high-temperature spark that could be used to create fire. There are indications that the "Iceman" called Ötzi may have used iron pyrite to make fire. From the Iron Age forward, until the invention of the friction match , the use of flint and steel was a common method of firelighting . Percussion fire-starting was prevalent in Europe during ancient times, the Middle Ages and the Viking Age . When flint and steel were used, the fire steel was often kept in a metal tinderbox together with flint and tinder. In Tibet and Mongolia they were ...more...

Coin purse


A purse or pouch (from the Latin bursa , which in turn is from the Greek βύρσα , býrsa, oxhide ), sometimes called coin purse for clarity, is a small money bag or pouch, made for carrying coins . In most Commonwealth countries it is known simply as a purse , while "purse" in the United States usually refers to a handbag . "Purse" can also be a synonym to bursary (which has the same origin), i.e. a monetary prize in a competition. In recent times a coin purse can also be transposed as a phone wallet replacing coins for a modern alternative, the mobile phone. History The oldest known purse was found with Ötzi the Iceman who lived around 3,300 BC. Another early example is on Egyptian hieroglyphs , which show pouches worn around the waist. The purse-lid from the Sutton Hoo burial is a very elaborate, probably royal, metalwork cover for a (presumably) leather Anglo-Saxon purse of about 600 AD. In Europe they often showed social status based on the embroidery and quality of the bag. Antique Indian purse, used by w ...more...

The Far Arena


The Far Arena is a 1979 novel by Richard Sapir , writing under the slightly modified pen name of Richard Ben Sapir. It chronicles the adventures of Eugeni, a Roman gladiator from the age of Domitian , who, due to a highly unlikely series of events, is frozen in ice for nineteen centuries before being found by the Houghton Oil Company on a prospecting mission in the north Atlantic . Summary Lew McCardle is a geologist working for Houghton Oil, which has reason to believe that there is oil in the far north. While running a test drill, the machine accidentally uncovers the frozen body of a man. Lew is given charge of the body, and he immediately calls Semyon Petrovitch, who is a Soviet scientist. Petrovitch, who specializes in cryonics (but not cryogenics , as he explains) immediately takes the body to be revived, explaining that it is easier to treat such a case as alive until it is proven that life cannot be restored. The blood is pumped from the body, and various treatments are administered until, amazingly, ...more...

Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries


Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology (1990) is a book by Kenneth L. Feder on the topic of pseudoarcheology . Feder is a professor of archaeology at Central Connecticut State University . Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries takes a skeptical look at outrageous claims in the field of archaeology . It is in the tradition of Martin Gardner 's Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science and Charles Mackay 's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds . It is required reading in some archaeology courses. Bettina Arnold, a professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee , writes that this book "has influenced thousands of undergraduates in introductory courses across the country (and presumably overseas as well), a significant contribution to the everlasting struggle to maintain some control over how professional archaeology is perceived by the general public." Editions in print The book was originally published in 1990 ( ISBN   0874849713 , Mayfield Pub., 1 ...more...

Mnemonic (play)


Mnemonic is a play created by the British theatre company Complicite. It uses several interrelated stories to explore the subject of memory. Synopsis Mnemonic begins with a lecture by the director, who encourages the audience to try to recall past memories. It then tells two parallel stories: in one, a man named Virgil tries to find his girlfriend, Alice, who has run away to Europe to hunt for her long-lost father; the other relates the discovery of Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,000-year-old mummified corpse. Through recurring images and situations the play draws parallels between these stories, focusing on the theme of the role of the imagination in recapturing the past. Characters Simon/Virgil - Starts off acting as the play's 'director' Simon but, from the eighth page onwards, plays as Virgil. Virgil is a British man who is at first trying to come to terms with his girlfriend, Alice, leaving him. He then ends up trying to find and reconcile with her. Also at points during the play can be portrayed to resemble ...more...

Mondsee group


The Mondsee group was a neolithic Austrian pile-dwelling culture spanning the period from roughly 3800 to 2800 BC, of particular interest due to its production of the characteristic "Mondsee-Copper" ( arsenical bronze ), apparently the first in central Europe to emulate the Serbian Vinča culture . The 1854 chance discovery of a prehistoric lake village on Switzerland's Zürichsee triggered interest in neighboring countries, and pile dwellings with huge amount of artifacts were discovered by Matthäus Much from 1864 until the 1870s in two Austrian provinces, Carinthia and Upper Austria 's Salzkammergut where the lake Mondsee is situated. The graph of calibrated radiocarbon dates shows a maximum range of 3800–2800 cal BC, but dating is problematic as the dates have a very large standard deviation . Mondsee is sometimes seen as a “culture” in its own right or (usually) as a “group” within the Funnel Beaker culture /interaction sphere (TRB) of Central/Northern Europe because its pottery and stone tools show affinit ...more...

Fomitopsis betulina


Fomitopsis betulina (previously Piptoporus betulinus), commonly known as the birch polypore, birch bracket, or razor strop, is a common bracket fungus and, as the name suggests, grows almost exclusively on birch trees. The brackets burst out from the bark of the tree, and these fruit bodies can last for more than a year. Technically, it is an edible mushroom, with a strong, pleasant "mushroomy" odor but a bitter taste. The velvety cut surface of the fruit body was traditionally used as a strop for finishing the edges on razors, and also as a mounting material for insect collections. Taxonomy The fungus was originally described by Jean Bulliard in 1788 as Boletus betulinus. It was transferred to the genus Piptoporus by Petter Karsten in 1881. Molecular phylogenetic studies suggested that the species was more closely related to Fomitopsis than to Piptoporus, and the fungus was reclassified to Fomitopsis in 2016. The specific epithet betulina refers to the genus of the host plant (Betula). Common names for ...more...



Amadou is a spongy material derived from Fomes fomentarius fungi that grow on the bark of coniferous and angiosperm trees, and have the appearance of a horse's hoof (thus the name "horse fungus"). It is also known as the "tinder fungus" and is useful for starting slow-burning fires. The fungus must be removed from the tree, the hard outer layer scraped off, and then thin strips of the inner spongy layer cut for use as tinder . Amadou was a precious resource to ancient people, allowing them to start a fire by catching sparks from flint struck against iron pyrites . Remarkable evidence for this is provided by the discovery of the 5,000-year-old remains of " Ötzi the Iceman ", who carried it on a cross-alpine excursion before his death and subsequent ice-entombment. Amadou has great water-absorbing abilities. It is used in fly fishing for drying out dry flies that have become wet. Another use is for forming a felt -like fabric used in the making of hats and other items. Before such uses, amadou needs to be pr ...more...



Paleogenetics is the study of the past through the examination of preserved genetic material from the remains of ancient organisms. Emile Zuckerkandl and the physical chemist Linus Carl Pauling introduced the term "paleogenetics" in 1963, in reference to the examination of possible applications in the reconstruction of past polypeptide sequences. The first sequence of an ancient DNA, isolated from a museum specimen of the extinct quagga, was published in 1984 by a team led by Allan Wilson. Paleogeneticists do not recreate actual organisms, but piece together ancient DNA sequences using various analytical methods. In many ways, an organism's genetics are "the only direct witnesses of extinct species and of evolutionary events". Applications Evolution Similar sequences are often found along protein polypeptide chains in different species. This similarity is directly linked to the sequence of the DNA (the genetic material of the organism). Due to the improbability of this being random chance, and its cons ...more...

Big Mama stela


Example statue menhir , as the probable equivalents to the Big Mama stela. The Big Mama stela is one of a group of steles from the Arco area of northwestern Italy. The stele may be associated with the culture to which Otzi the Iceman is archaeologically linked. The stele is one of a group of six from the region. The Big Mama stele is 7 feet (2 m) tall and made from sandstone . List of Big Mama stela iconography The iconography of the Big Mama stela is as follows: a partial glyph (lower half of a star?) adorns the worn top edge of the stele Central vertical archaic dagger at upper center chest Necklace arced above dagger six horizontal daggers, three-by-three pointed towards chest midline archaic pin -( fibula (brooch) -like), (flanked as 4th item above left three daggers) two opposed-facing halberds flanking vertical central dagger four facing vertical halberds (all six halberds, are either three triangle-bladed, or three rectangle-bladed) four-segmented "corded belt", horizontally flanks the lower 4th of the ...more...

Jacqui Wood


Jacqui Wood (born 4 January 1950) is a British archaeologist and writer, specializing in the daily life of prehistoric Europeans . As of 2001, she is director of Saveock Water Archaeology , and also the director and founder of Cornwall Celtic Village , a reconstructed Bronze-Iron Age settlement. She was a member of the National Education Committee of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) for three years, and secretary of the CBA for the south west region for another three years. As of 1995, she was a member of the General Committee of the Cornwall Archaeological Society and consultant to the Eden Project in Cornwall. She has published several papers in archaeology journals and conferences, and gave many lectures throughout Europe. She has also appeared on many TV programmes about prehistoric dwellings and cooking. She also gave demonstrations of Bronze Age technology for English Heritage , researched the grass cloak of Ötzi the Iceman , as well as his shoes (which she believes are actually snowshoes ), an ...more...

Klaus Oeggl


This article may have been created or edited in return for undisclosed payments , a violation of Wikipedia's terms of use . It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia's content policies . Klaus Oeggl (born 1955 in Innsbruck ) is an Austrian botanist , and deals with palaeoecology and archaeobotany . He is well known for his studies on the life-circumstances and on the environment of the Neolithic glacier mummy „ Ötzi “. Life Klaus Oeggl studied biology and Earth sciences at the University of Innsbruck , where he graduated in 1981. In 1987 he obtained his doctorate in botany. Between 1982 and 1983 Klaus Oeggl taught at secondary schools. In 1983 he changed to Innsbruck University, where he started as lector at the Institute of Botany first. Then followed employments as university assistant of Sigmar Bortenschlager at this institute. In 1997 he became associate professor. Since 2011 he holds a professorship of palynology and archaeobotany and leads the research group of the same name at the Institute of Bo ...more...

4th millennium BC


The 4th millennium BC spanned the years 4000 through 3001 BC. Some of the major changes in human culture during this time included the beginning of the Bronze Age and the invention of writing, which played a major role in starting recorded history. Monte d'Accoddi is an archaeological site in northern Sardinia, Italy, located in the territory of Sassari near Porto Torres. 4th millennium BC. The city states of Sumer and the kingdom of Egypt were established and grew to prominence. Agriculture spread widely across Eurasia. World population in the course of the millennium doubled, approximately from 7 to 14 million people. Events Mesopotamia is in the Uruk period, with emerging Sumerian hegemony and development of "proto-cuneiform" writing; base-60 mathematics, astronomy and astrology, civil law, complex hydrology, the sailboat, potter's wheel and wheel; the Chalcolithic proceeds into the Early Bronze Age. c. 4000 BC—First neolithic settlers in the island of Thera (Santorini), Greece, migrating probab ...more...

History of tattooing


Tattooing has been practiced across the globe since at least Neolithic times, as evidenced by mummified preserved skin, ancient art, and the archaeological record. Both ancient art and archaeological finds of possible tattoo tools suggest tattooing was practiced by the Upper Paleolithic period in Europe. However, direct evidence for tattooing on mummified human skin extends only to the 4th millennium BC . The oldest discovery of tattooed human skin to date is found on the body of Ötzi the Iceman , dating to between 3370 and 3100 BC. Other tattooed mummies have been recovered from at least 49 archaeological sites including locations in Greenland, Alaska, Siberia, Mongolia, western China, Egypt, Sudan, the Philippines, and the Andes. These include Amunet, Priestess of the Goddess Hathor from ancient Egypt (c. 2134–1991 BC), multiple mummies from Siberia including the Pazyryk culture of Russia, and from several cultures throughout pre-Columbian South America . Ancient and traditional practices China Cemeterie ...more...



Descending to Wildhorn (March 2007). Fibulae , the one found at Schnidejoch in the middle. The Schnidejoch is a mountain pass in the Bernese Alps , at 2,756 m (9,042 ft) above sea level, cutting across the ridge connecting the Schnidehorn and the Wildhorn . Archaeological artifacts, their dates spread over six millennia (from the Neolithic to the Late Middle Ages), have been discovered near the pass. They suggest that the pass was in regular use as a short route across the Bernese Alps, connecting the Bernese Oberland and the Valais , throughout this period. The nearest easier passes across the massif are the Sanetschpass (2,252 m (7,388 ft)) and the Rawilpass (2,429 m (7,969 ft)), situated a short distance to the west and east, respectively. In September 2003, Bronze Age or Neolithic artifacts were discovered at the icefield just below the pass, at ca. 2,500 m (8,200 ft). The discovery was made possible by the melting away of the formerly permanent ice field during the exceptionally hot summer of 2003. Furth ...more...

Haplogroup K (mtDNA)


Haplogroup K is a human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup. It is defined by the HVR1 mutations 16224C and 16311C. Origin Haplogroup K is believed to have originated in the mid-Upper Paleolithic, between about 30,000 and 22,000 years ago. It is the most common subclade of haplogroup U8b. with an estimated age of c. 12,000 years BP. Distribution Projected spatial frequency distribution for haplogroup K. Haplogroup K appears in West Eurasia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and South Asia, and in populations with such an ancestry. Haplogroup K is found in approximately 10% of native Europeans. Overall mtDNA Haplogroup K is found in about 6% of the population of Europe and the Near East, but it is more common in certain of these populations. Approximately 16% of the Druze of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, belong to haplogroup K. It is also found among 8% of Palestinians. Additionally, K reaches a level of 17% in Kurdistan. Approximately 32% of people with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry are in hap ...more...

Petr Hlaváček


Petr Hlavacek (February 23, 1950 – January 10, 2014) was a Czech shoe expert, university lecturer and researcher. His professional focus was to study the preparation and production of shoe materials, footwear, footwear ergonomics (especially for diabetics ) and historical footwear. Replica of about 5000 years old Ötzi - The Iceman footwear found in Alpes Replica of about 10,000 years old footwear from Oregon Replica of about 2000 years old footwear of Terracotta Army warriors in China Biography He grew up in South Moravia in Boršice, near Buchlov Castle. From 1965 to 1969 he studied at the Secondary Technical School in Zlin leather. Upon graduation he worked at a shoe factory, Svit, as a production foreman. From 1970 to 1979 he studied at the Faculty of Technology VUT Brno. In 1979, he began working as a lecturer at the Faculty of Technology. He was Dean of the Faculty of Technology at Tomas Bata University in Zlin from 2007 to 2011. On June 15, 2007, he was elected to the position by the Academic Senate of ...more...

Prunus spinosa


Prunus spinosa ( blackthorn , or sloe ) is a species of flowering plant in the rose family Rosaceae . It is native to Europe , western Asia , and locally in northwest Africa . It is also locally naturalised in New Zealand and eastern North America . Description Plant in flower in early spring Prunus spinosa is a large deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 5 metres (16 ft) tall, with blackish bark and dense, stiff, spiny branches. The leaves are oval, 2–4.5 centimetres (0.79–1.77 in) long and 1.2–2 centimetres (0.47–0.79 in) broad, with a serrated margin. The flowers are 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) diameter, with five creamy-white petals; they are produced shortly before the leaves in early spring, and are hermaphroditic and insect -pollinated. The fruit , called a "sloe", is a drupe 10–12 millimetres (0.39–0.47 in) in diameter, black with a purple-blue waxy bloom, ripening in autumn and harvested – traditionally, at least in the UK – in October or November after the first frosts. Sloes are thin-fleshed, wi ...more...

Cornus sanguinea


Cornus sanguinea , the common dogwood , is a species of dogwood native to most of Europe and western Asia , occurring north to southern England and southern Scandinavia , and east to the Caspian Sea . It is widely grown as an ornamental plant . Description Cornus sanguinea stems in winter. It is a medium to large deciduous shrub , growing 2–6 metres (7–20 ft) tall, with dark greenish-brown branches and twigs. The leaves are opposite, 4–8 centimetres (2–3 in) long and 2–4 centimetres (0.8–1.6 in) broad, with an ovate to oblong shape and an entire margin; they are green above, slightly paler below, and rough with short stiff pubescence. The hermaphrodite flowers are small, 5–10 millimetres (0.2–0.4 in) diameter, with four creamy white petals, produced in clusters 3–5 centimetres (1–2 in) diameter, and are insect pollinated. The fruit is a globose black berry 5–8 millimetres (0.2–0.3 in) diameter, containing a single seed . The berries are sometimes called "dogberries". Ecology It prefers moderate warmth in s ...more...

St Bees Man


St Bees Man was the name given to the extremely well preserved body of a medieval man discovered on the grounds of St Bees Priory , Cumbria , in 1981. His identity was subsequently established as that of Anthony de Lucy , 3rd Baron Lucy, who died in 1368, probably killed on crusade at New Kaunas , in what is now Lithuania. Discovery St Bees Priory from the south west The late 12th century monastic chancel showing the ruined east end of the chancel aisle on the left. Top effigy is thought to be Anthony de Lucy, and in the middle, Maud de Lucy. St Bees Man was discovered during an archaeological dig by the University of Leicester on the site of St Bees Priory . The 1981 dig examined two areas of the ruined chancel aisle at the west end of the priory. The aisle was built in about 1300 in the Decorated style, and is thought to have fallen into ruin before the dissolution of the priory in 1539 due to structural failure caused by poor foundations. The body was found buried in a wooden coffin, wrapped in lead sheet. ...more...

Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi


Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi (pronounced ) (meaning Long Ago Person Found in Southern Tutchone), or Canadian Ice Man, is a naturally mummified body found in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park in British Columbia, Canada, by a group of hunters in 1999. Radiocarbon dating of artifacts found with the body placed the age of the body at between 300 and 550 years. The find was comparable in condition and scientific value to Ötzi the Iceman, remains dating to 3300 BC that were found in the Ötztal Alps in 1991. DNA testing of more than 240 volunteers from the local Champagne and Aishihik First Nations revealed 17 persons who are related to the ice man through their direct maternal line. They were excited to have their deep connections to the area affirmed. Discovery Three sheep hunters, Bill Hanlon, Warren Ward and Mike Roche, discovered a number of artifacts and a human body in a melting glacier while hunting near the Yukon border on July 22, 1999 (60°N 138°W / 60°N 138°W). The hunters were walking along a glacier, above the tre ...more...



Patch pocket with topstitching and bar tacking on the back of a pair of blue jeans. A pocket is a bag - or envelope -like receptacle either fastened to or inserted in an article of clothing to hold small items. Pockets are also attached to luggage , backpacks , and similar items. In older usage, a pocket was a separate small bag or pouch. Origins Pockets hang from belts as 15th-century peasants thresh siligo wheat in a Tacuinum Sanitatis 18th-century woman's hanging pocket Ancient people used leather or cloth pouches to hold valuables. Ötzi (also called the "Iceman"), who lived around 3,300 BCE , had a belt with a pouch sewn to it that contained a cache of useful items: a scraper, drill, flint flake, bone awl, and a dried fungus. In European clothing, fitchets, resembling modern day pockets, appeared in the 13th century. Vertical slits were cut in the super tunic, which did not have any side openings, to allow access to purse or keys slung from the girdle of the tunic. According to historian Rebecca Unsworth ...more...

Areni-1 shoe


The Areni-1 shoe is a 5,500-year-old leather shoe that was found in 2008 in excellent condition in the Areni-1 cave located in the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia . It is a one-piece leather-hide shoe, the oldest piece of leather footwear in the world known to contemporary researchers. The discovery was made by an international team led by Boris Gasparyan , an archaeologist from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia (co-directors of the project are Ron Pinhasi from University College Cork in Ireland, and Gregory Areshian from UCLA). Discovery An Armenian post-graduate student, Diana Zardaryan , discovered the leather shoe in the course of excavations by a team of archeologists from Armenia’s Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography , Ireland and the United States. The shoe was found upside down at the base of a shallow, rounded, and plastered pit that was 45 cm (18 in) deep and 44–48 cm (17–19 in) wide, beneath an overturned broken Chalcolithic ceramic b ...more...



Schnals ( German pronunciation: ; Italian : Senales ) is a comune (municipality) in the autonomous province of South Tyrol in northern Italy , located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) northwest of the city of Bolzano , on the border with Austria . The municipality includes large parts of the Schnalstal . Geography As of 30 November 2010, it had a population of 1,345 and an area of 211.2 square kilometres (81.5 sq mi). Schnals borders the following municipalities: Kastelbell-Tschars , Latsch , Mals , Moos in Passeier , Naturns , Partschins , Schlanders , and Sölden (Austria). Frazioni The municipality of Schnals contains the frazioni (subdivisions, mainly villages and hamlets) Karthaus (Certosa), and Katharinaberg (Monte Santa Caterina), Unser Frau (Madonna). History Coat-of-arms The shield is azure and argent party per pale . The first part represents Gabriel of or with a sword in his right hand over the head, and a scales in the left, standing on a sable dragon with a gules tongue. Three azure gyrons, with the po ...more...

Fomes fomentarius


Fomes fomentarius (commonly known as the tinder fungus , false tinder fungus , hoof fungus , tinder conk , tinder polypore or ice man fungus ) is a species of fungal plant pathogen found in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. The species produces very large polypore fruit bodies which are shaped like a horse's hoof and vary in colour from a silvery grey to almost black, though they are normally brown. It grows on the side of various species of tree, which it infects through broken bark, causing rot . The species typically continues to live on trees long after they have died, changing from a parasite to a decomposer . Though inedible, F. fomentarius has traditionally seen use as the main ingredient of amadou , a material used primarily as tinder , but also used to make clothing and other items. The 5,000-year-old Ötzi the Iceman carried four pieces of F. fomentarius, concluded to be for use as tinder. It also has medicinal and other uses. The species is both a pest and useful in timber production. Taxonomy ...more...



Left shoe with lower leg of Salt Man 1 The Saltmen were discovered in the Chehrabad salt mines, located on the southern part of the Hamzehlu village, on the west side of the city of Zanjan , in the Zanjan Province in Iran . By 2010 the remains of six men had been discovered, most of them accidentally killed by the collapse of galleries in which they were working. The head and left foot of Salt Man 1 are on display at the National Museum of Iran in Tehran . Discovery In the winter of 1993, miners came across a body with long hair , a beard and some artifacts . These included the remains of a body, a lower leg inside a leather boot , three iron knives , a woollen half trouser, a silver needle , a sling , parts of a leather rope , a grindstone , a walnut , some pottery shards, some patterned textile fragments, and a few broken bones . The body had been buried in the middle of a tunnel approximately 45 metres in length. In 2004 another salt miner found the remains of a second man. During archaeological excavatio ...more...

Einkorn wheat


The kernels of einkorn wheat are inside these spikelets. Einkorn wheat (from German Einkorn, literally "single grain") can refer either to the wild species of wheat , Triticum boeoticum, or to the domesticated form, Triticum monococcum. The wild and domesticated forms are either considered separate species, as here, or as subspecies: Triticum monococcum subsp. boeoticum (wild) and T. monococcum subsp. monococcum (domesticated). Einkorn is a diploid species (2n = 14 chromosomes) of hulled wheat, with tough glumes (' husks ') that tightly enclose the grains . The cultivated form is similar to the wild, except that the ear stays intact when ripe and the seeds are larger. The domestic form is known as petit épeautre in French, Einkorn in German, einkorn or littlespelt in English, piccolo farro in Italian and escanda menor in Spanish. Einkorn wheat was one of the first plants to be domesticated and cultivated. The earliest clear evidence of the domestication of einkorn dates from 10,600 to 9,900 years before prese ...more...

Eurac Research


Eurac Research is a private research center headquartered in Bozen , South Tyrol . The center has eleven institutes organized into four research areas: autonomies, mountains, technology and health. Eurac Research has around 200 partners spread across 50 countries. Eurac Research collaborates with international organizations such as the Alpine and Carpathian Conventions, UNEP and UNIDO in the context of sustainable development and energy technology, and also hosts the headquarters of the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention at its headquarters in Bolzano/Bozen. Core funding is provided by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen, with additional financing coming from membership fees and European project funds. Institutes Institute for Minority Rights Institute for Public Management Institute for Comparative Federalism Institute for Applied Linguistics Institute for Alpine Environment Institute for Earth Observation Institute for Regional Development Institute for Renewable Energy Institute for Biome ...more...

Cherchen Man


Cherchen Man or Chärchän Man is among the best-known of the Tarim mummies. His naturally-mummified remains were discovered in Tomb 2 at the cemetery of Zaghunluq near the town of Qiemo (Cherchen) in the Taklamakan Desert, Xinjiang, north-west China. The man died around 1000 BCE. The mummy is an adult male with caucasoid facial features. While an early estimate suggested that had been 198 cm (6 feet 6 inches) tall, the archaeologists J. P. Mallory and Victor Mair put the man's height at no more than 165 cm (5' 5"). His hair was "reddish brown flecked with grey, framing high cheekbones", he had an "aquiline" "long nose, full lips and a ginger beard", and was wearing "a red twill tunic" and leggings with a pattern resembling "tartan." Yellow and reddish patterns on the face of Cherchen Man have been identified as tattoos in some sources, but are more likely ochre paint. The man is often described as looking "like a Bronze Age European" and/or as resembling "a Celt", However, Cherchen Man was more likely connec ...more...



Viburnum is a genus of about 150–175 species of shrubs or (in a few species) small trees in the moschatel family, Adoxaceae . Its current classification is based on molecular phylogeny . It was previously included in the family Caprifoliaceae . The member species are native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere , with a few species extending into tropical montane regions in South America , Ukraine , Russia , and southeast Asia . In Africa , the genus is confined to the Atlas Mountains . In Ukraine , Viburnum opulus (kalyna) is seen as a national symbol, an emblem for both the Koliada festivities and the concept of young girl’s love and tenderness. It is the key element of the Ukrainian traditional wreath . The generic name originated in Latin , where it referred to V. lantana . The leaves are opposite , simple, and entire, toothed or lobed; cool temperate species are deciduous , while most of the warm temperate species are evergreen . Some species are densely hairy on the shoots and leaves, with star- ...more...

Haplogroup G-M201


Haplogroup G (M201) is a human Y-chromosome haplogroup. It is one of two branches of Haplogroup GHIJK, the other being Haplogroup HIJK. At the level of national populations, G-M201 is most commonly found in Georgia; it is found at even higher levels among many other regional and minority populations in The Caucasus. G-M201 is also widely distributed at low frequencies, among ethnic groups of Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, and North Africa. While G-M201 is generally believed to have originated in Western Asia, only one sample of basal G* or the paragroup G(xG1,G2) – i.e. G* or an otherwise undocumented primary subclade – is known: a blood sample taken from a man executed on a guillotine during the French Revolution. (See the "Historical presence" section below for further details.) The most commonly occurring subclades are G1* (M285) and many subclades of G2 (G-P287), especially: G2a (P15), G2a1 (G-FGC7535, formerly G-L293), G2a2b2a (G-P303) formerly G2a3b1); G2a2b1 (G-M406) formerly G2a3a; G2a2b2a1 (G ...more...

Mummy Juanita


Momia Juanita ( Spanish for "Mummy Juanita"), also known as the "Inca" Ice Maiden and Lady of Ampato , is the well-preserved frozen body of an Inca girl who was killed as an offering to the Inca gods sometime between 1450 and 1480 when she was approximately 12–15 years old. She was discovered on Mount Ampato (part of the Andes cordillera ) in southern Peru in 1995 by anthropologist Johan Reinhard and his Peruvian climbing partner, Miguel Zárate. "Juanita" has been on display in Catholic University of Santa María's Museum of Andean Sanctuaries (Museo Santuarios Andinos) in Arequipa, Peru , almost continuously since 1996, and was displayed on a tour of Japan in 1999. The body caused a sensation in the scientific world due to its well-preserved condition. In 1995, Time magazine chose it as one of the world's top ten discoveries. Between May and June 1996, it was exhibited in the headquarters of the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. , in a specially acclimatized conservation display unit. In its Jun ...more...

Italic peoples


The Italic peoples are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group identified by speaking Italic languages. Classification Indo-European language tree (diagram) according to Gray and Atkinson (2003); Italisch=Italic Ethnolinguistic map of Italy in the Iron Age. The Italics were all the peoples who spoke an idiom belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages and had settled in the Italian peninsula. The first Italic tribes, the Latino-Falisci (or "Latino-Veneti", if the membership of the ancient Veneti is also accepted), entered Italy across the eastern Alpine passes into the plain of the Po River about 1200 BC. Later, they crossed the Apennine Mountains and eventually occupied the region of Latium, which included the area of Rome. Before 1000 BC, the Osco-Umbrians followed, which later divided into various groups and gradually moved to central and southern Italy. The Italics were, therefore, the set of all Indo-Europeans present exclusively in Italy in antiquity, not Indo-European pe ...more...

List of haplogroups of historic people


This is a list of haplogroups of historic people. Haplogroups can be determined from the remains of historical figures, or derived from genealogical DNA tests of people who trace their direct maternal or paternal ancestry to a noted historical figure. Some contemporary notable figures have made their test results public in the course of news programs or documentaries about this topic; they may be included in this list too. MtDNA results indicate direct maternal descent while Y-DNA results indicate direct paternal descent; these are only two of many lines of descent. Scientists make inferences of descent as hypotheses which could be disproved or modified by future research. Ancient samples These are results from 'ancient' samples, those collected from the remains or reputed remains of the person. Because mtDNA breaks down more slowly than nuclear DNA, it is often possible to obtain mtDNA results where other testing fails. Ashina clan of Gokturks There is a high possibility that the ruling class of Gok-T ...more...

One-sided overhand bend


The offset water knot is a knot used to join two ropes together. The offset water knot is formed by holding two rope ends next to each other and tying an overhand knot in them as if they were a single line. Due to its common use in several fields, this bend has become known by many names. Uses Easily formed in most line, the offset water knot can be difficult or impossible to untie once tightened, if the knot's dressing has parts falling out of a neat, parallel ("twin") orientation. Long used by weavers to join the ends of yarn , the offset water knot is very old. It was one of the knots likely identified among the possessions of Ötzi the Iceman , who dates from 3300 BC . The knot is also tied in a slipped form by mechanical balers to bind straw and hay , but this bend is not practical to use as a binding knot when tied by hand. In climbing and mountaineering In rock climbing , the offset water knot is a favored knot for joining two ropes for a rappel longer than half the length of the ropes . (Although it ...more...



A woman performs a cursing ritual (Hokusai) A curse (also called an imprecation, malediction, execration, malison, anathema, or commination) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity: one or more persons, a place, or an object. In particular, "curse" may refer to such a wish or pronouncement made effective by a supernatural or spiritual power, such as a god or gods, a spirit, or a natural force, or else as a kind of spell by magic or witchcraft; in the latter sense, a curse can also be called a hex or a jinx. In many belief systems, the curse itself (or accompanying ritual) is considered to have some causative force in the result. To reverse or eliminate a curse is sometimes called "removal" or "breaking", and is often believed to require elaborate rituals or prayers. Ancient Greek curse written on a lead sheet, 4th century BC, Kerameikos Archaeological Museum, Athens. The study of the forms of curses comprise a significant proporti ...more...

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