According to a new analysis the blood samples of Ötzi are the oldest in the world. The Iceman lived about 5,300 years ago and he has the world’s oldest intact corpse. Ötzi is Europe’s oldest natural human mummy, it was found in the Ötztal Alps in 1991.
The researchers with Albert Zink professor’s direction from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich studied the body of Ötzi with so-called Atomic force microscopy (AFM). They focused on the fatal arrow wound in his back where they found blood samples. This technique works using a tiny metal tip with a point just a few atoms across. The tip’s movement is tracked, and results in a 3-D map at extraordinary resolution. The researches found that the sample from the mummy contained red blood cells. The find represents by far the oldest red blood cells ever observed.
An other analytical method was used, the so -called Raman spectroscopy as a supplement to try to rule out the possibility of pollens or bacterias. This technique relies on inelastic scattering of monochromatic light, usually from a laser in the visible, near infrared, or near ultraviolet range. Typically, a sample is illuminated with a laser beam. Found traces of haemoglobin and fibrin, a protein that’s known to degrade quickly in a wound. This suggesting that Oetzi died shortly after he was shot with the arrow. “This observation confirms that the Iceman sustained several injuries before his death. Because fibrin is present in fresh wounds and then degrades, the theory that Oetzi died some days after he had been injured by the arrow, as had once been mooted, can no longer be upheld.”- says Zink professor.
As the earlier researches said Ötzi died violently from an arrow lodged in his left sholder. Now also found that he was wearing three layers of clothing which made from bark, deerskin and goat. Because the researchers found blood of four differenent people on his clothes. According to a DNA analysis he was about 160 cm tall and his weight was about 50 kg. He was about 45 years-old when he died. He had brown eyes and 0 blood type. He wasn’t too healthy. He was genetically predisposed to coronary heart disease and also found he was lactose intolerant. In addition The Iceman was a carrier of the borrelia pathogen because he showed signs of the earliest known infection with Lyme disease.
Since the Iceman found the researchers try to find out what was reason of his death with the most modern techniques. And now it seems the world’s oldest murder mystery solved. In 2010 Italian archaeologists examined stomach contents of Ötzi and they compared it the pollens of area where the Iceman was found. It was concluded that Ötzi died elsewhere. According to Zink professor and his team’s analysis this got another certainty.
Written by Ilona Kaszanyi