Who isn’t fascinate by mummies?  We usually hear about Egyptian mummies, since  naturally occurring mummification is very rare.  This makes a find like Otzi, the mummy who was found in the Alps in 1991, equivalent to winning the Powerball for scientists. 

Otzi, named after the Otz valley in which he was found, lived 5,300 years ago.  He’s the oldest natural mummy found in Europe.  The body is in remarkably good shape because it was covered in ice very soon after death. 

The amount of information that scientists have been able to find out is astounding.  They know Otzi was about 35-45 years old, 5’3″ to 5’5″, 110 lbs, and where he spent his childhood.  His lungs showed evidence that he spent time near campfires and his bones show that he spent a lot of time walking in hilly terrain.  They even know he probably had brown eyes.

Recently they analyzed his stomach contents and found he had dined on Alpine ibex (a type of goat) just 30-120 minutes before his death.  The contents of his intestines show that he had also eaten red deer and a grain called einkorn.  They also know he died in the spring or early summer because of a type of pollen he ingested.

You can find out more here: http://www.iceman.it/en/node/226

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