|26 September 2016
Oetzi the Iceman was an agropastorialist, as well as a hunter
Ever since his discovery in the Italian Alps in 1991, scientists and researchers have been working on the remains of Oetzi the Iceman, trying to elicit as much information as possible from this 5,300 year old mummified body.
Now a paper has been published in Scientific Reports, detailing the findings of a team from University College Dublin (Ireland) into the clothing that Oetzi was wearing. Surprisingly they cam from the furs of various animals, ranging from wild to farmed, leading to the description of Oetzi as an agropastorialist as well as a hunter, as the majority of his food and clothing were from domesticated animals such as goats, sheep and cattle, with some additional items from wild animals (e.g. hat from a brown bear and quiver from a roe deer). His coat is more interesting, being made from the fur os several animals, intimating perhaps that it had been repaired many times. Vast leaps of progress in DNA analysis have made these discoveries possible.
Niall O'Sullivan, from the University College team, is quoted s saying "25 years ago the study of ancient DNA was in its infancy. It would not have been possible to infer, to the same extent, the species of origin or how domesticated the leathers were. We analysed nine samples and for each one we were able to reconstruct either a whole mitogenome or a partial mitogenome. We are very happy with that".
Edited from BBC News, The Guardian (18 August 2016)
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