Ötzi The Iceman Stone Tools Reveal How Alpine Copper Age Communities Lived

Posted: Jun 21 2018, 9:28am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 21 2018, 9:32am CDT, in Latest Science News


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Ötzi The Iceman Stone Tools Reveal How Alpine Copper Age Communities Lived
A dagger. Image Credit: Wierer et al (2018)

Otzi the Iceman left behind Tools that Shed Light on the Culture of his Times

The age-old mummy of Europe, known as Otzi the Iceman, is still elucidating the culture of the Copper Age in which he thrived. One of the secrets that have been revealed by recent analysis of his mummified body is that he had some weapons in his cache when he was killed.

These were sharpened before his demise. By means of careful research, scientists have piece by piece managed to fit the jigsaw puzzle together. Otzi the Iceman had used his right hand to sharpen the blades of his tools just a couple of days before his untimely murder.

Also, the style of Otzi the Iceman’s tools took inspiration from an alpine heritage that lay at some distance from his provenance. We are talking 5300 years ago in the past. That is the age of his tools.

Thus we learn one more interesting fact regarding Copper Age cultures and that is that they all kept in touch with one another. Trade was the watchword even in those primitive times.

A group of researchers probed into Otzi’s toolkit to gain greater awareness regarding his lifestyle and the series of steps that led to his fatal downfall in the end.

The instruments used to peruse Otzi the Iceman’s toolkit included high magnification microscopes and CT scans. His tools comprised: a dagger, borer, flake, antler retoucher and arrowheads.

There were two other tools: a scraper for tearing into plant material or animal hides and another pointed object to poke holes in wooden stuff. These tools came courtesy of many external influences as was pointed out earlier.

The reconstruction of the life process of this mummy was worked out in detail by the scientists. Otzi the Iceman was 46 years old, had clothes and a personal kit, ate deer and ibex meat as the last meal and stood more than five feet and two inches tall.

This study got published on June 20, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ursula Wierer from the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Florence, Italy, and colleagues.

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