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Prof Oeggl: Recent work on Oetzi, the Ice Man
February 28 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
The Neolithic Glacier Mummy “Ötzi“: His Life Circumstances and Environment Klaus Oeggl, Botanical Institute, University of Innsbruck
February 28th 6:30-8pm (doors at 6:15pm)
Nearly thirty years of investigations on the find assemblage of the Tyrolean Iceman “Ötzi” reveal a great deal of information about the life and environment of this Neolithic man in the Alps. The palaeo-ethnobotany of his artefacts discloses a skilled person, well adapted to the alpine environment. Since the discovery of an arrow head in his left shoulder a strong evidence for a violent death is on hand, but there are still several questions. Concerning this, the analysis of sequential ingesta samples from different locations of the Iceman´s intestinal tract encompass at least three different meals consumed of the Iceman during his last two days. The background pollen of the ingesta samples enables the reconstructionof his travels just before his demise. Additonally the new data corroborate the early season of his death. These results lend new weight to the disaster theory of Ötzi´s death.
Furthermore, besides the dispute about the Iceman’s personal fate, a discussion about the social status of the Iceman has started. Primarily, four hypotheses were suggested to explain the find in its entirety. The speculations vary from a hunter or warrior to a shaman, a miner or a shepherd. None of these proposals is accepted or corroborated by archaeological findings, but on the basis of palynological investigations conducted in the vicinity of the discovery site
the assumption that the Iceman was involved in an early form of transhumance has gained general acceptance now. However, recent results from archaeological field studies and from coprolite analyses on dung pellets from the Iceman´s discovery site cause doubts on the existence of such a vertical transhumance in the area during the Iceman’s lifetime
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