Otzi The Iceman Wore Leather And Fur When He Died

Posted: Aug 19 2016, 3:27am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Otzi the Iceman Wore Leather and Fur When he Died
A new analysis of 5.300-year-old garments worn by Europe's oldest mummy reveals they were made from the hides of both domesticated and wild animals. Credit: Institute for Mummies and the Iceman)
  • Otzi the Iceman Burial Outfit Revealed
  • Otzi the Iceman Was Wearing Bear Fur and Deer Leather at Time of Death

DNA sequencing showed that Otzi the Iceman wore quite some complex clothes in his burial place. It came as a surprise to the scientists.

In 1991, the 5300 year old mummified remains of Otzi the Iceman were found. The site where these were discovered was at the top of the Italian Alps. The remains were thoroughly examined by the researchers.

Among the facts which have come to light are what he devoured, how his lifestyle happened to be, the ailments he suffered from and how he eventually passed away.

Otzi has given us food for thought. His frozen body lends us a cornucopia of valuable data regarding the way Europeans lived in those early times. There exist a few mysteries regarding Otzi even now.

The animal hides which he wore are something which every scientist would die to know more about. Since Otzi’s body was stuck in the ice for so long, the hides he wore have dissolved and cannot be analyzed as regarding their DNA.

However, via novel DNA analysis methods, scientists have recovered a ton of data regarding this primitive man from the Copper Age.

The results were published in a journal. The hair and leather samples of the clothes show little in the way of what sort of animals provided clothing and food for Otzi.

In order to gain more insight into the matter, DNA sequencing had to be resorted to. The scientists went after the fashion choices that Otzi practiced in those ancient times.

The analytic technique employed the examination of markers in mitochondrial DNA. Although DNA is normally stored within the chromosomes of each cell, the mitochondria have their own DNA.

Although it just forms a fraction of the total supply of DNA, it was enough to access what sort of animals provided food and clothing for Otzi.

Otzi’s boots were made of cattle leather. This choice was simply made due to the tough and tenacious nature of this leather. As for the black and white striped coat, it was made from the hides of sheep.

These would surely have kept Otzi snug as a bug in a rug. Other wild beasts such as deer and bears formed his quiver and hat respectively. These choices in clothes were utilitarian in nature.

They also reflected the fact that Otzi repaired his fashion choices with the same materials they were made from instead of other leather samples. There was no chaos in fashion even in such primitive times. Otzi maintained a modicum of decorum as regards his choice of garb.

The findings of this study got published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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