|18 December 2011
Scientists discover Oetzi's last meal
Oetzi's body was discovered in 1991 inside a glacier near the mountainous border between Italy and Austria, where it had been naturally mummified about 5300 years ago.
Previous analysis concluded Oetzi's stomach was almost empty of food, but Albert Zink (of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman, in Bolzano, Italy) and his colleagues realised that the empty 'stomach' was in fact a section of Oetzi's colon, and that the real stomach, which had been forced upwards under the iceman's ribs, actually contains plenty of partially digested ibex meat - suggesting that Oetzi enjoyed a hearty meal very shortly before he was shot from behind with an arrow.
Oetzi had three gallstones, suggesting a diet rich in animal fat. Previous work showed his arteries were full of fatty deposits. His knees show evidence of wear associated with hiking in mountainous terrain.
Edited from NewScientist (11 December 2011)
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