Scientists now claim to know more about the origin of the “ice man”. It is Otzi, the mummy of a man who lived in the Italian Alps more than 5,000 years ago. He was buried in the ice after being killed by an arrow shot in the back.
Otzi was discovered near a glacier in the Alps in 1991 along with some of his clothes and equipment. Among them, a copper axe, a longbow and a bearskin hat. It is the oldest known natural human mummy in Europe. And during all this time it was buried under the snow in the mountains.
The look of genetics
The mummy is exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of South Tyrol in Bolzano, Italy. It has been studied ever since by the scientific community to find out more about it. In 2012 a draft of the genome of the Iceman. But ancient DNA research has moved on since then. Recently, scientists decided to take another look at the mysterious Otzi, explains Johannes Krause. He is a German geneticist and co-author of the new study, published in the journal Cell Genomics.
The specialists used DNA extracted from the mummy’s hip bone. They determined that the individual in question was mostly descended from farmers in Anatolia, present-day Turkey. His ancestry suggests that he lived in an isolated population in the Alps. The head of the Iceman was balder and his skin darker than initially thought. This is what the research findings indicate. The analysts deduced that her appearance at the time of death was not very different from now.
Hearing his voice
Today, most Europeans have a mix of genes from Anatolian farmers, western hunter-gatherers, and eastern pastoralists. However, 92% of Otzi’s heritage came solely from Anatolian cultivators. He had no significant admixture with other groups.
The origin of the “ice man” is not the only thing trying to be unraveled. In 2016, a team of scientists succeeded in synthesizing Otzi’s voice through electron tomography.