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NEWS
latest news
news archive
why he's special
Iceman Q&A
DISCOVERY
his discovery
his findspot
the lawsuit
ABOUT ÖTZI
who he was
his health
his three faces NEW
his occupation
his equipment
his clothing
his final route
his last meals
STUDIES, THEORIES, MYTHS
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scientific studies
his DNA 
the stele
the curse of Ötzi?
ÖTZI'S NEW HOME
his icy chamber
visiting the museum
visiting Bolzano
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B. Fowler interview
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AND DON'T FORGET
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His Health

 

Although the Iceman's body was in bad shape when it was discovered, he was in relatively good condition before his final day of life...for a man of his age and time period.

Scientists have studied his body, inside and out, to discover that he was about 5 feet 2 inches tall when he died. However, his body had shrunk over the 5,300 years, and he had lost a few inches when he was discovered. 

He weighed about 110 pounds at death, though again he lost considerable weight afterwards. Today, according to scientists, his mummified body weighs only about 29 pounds. 

When he died, he was about 45 years old, an age that not many at this time attained.

 


 

During their scientific studies, researchers found a number of problems that the Iceman faced:

 

1. He had whipworm parasite eggs in his colon. This means that Ötzi had a fairly severe intestinal disorder which would have caused diarrhea or possibly dysentery. 

2. He had fleas, or so said scientist Konrad Spindler, in an interview with the Austrian Press Agency. According to Spindler, recent testing revealed the presence of two fleas in the Iceman's clothing. Spindler said that  fleas have previously been traced back only to the 5th or 6th Century B.C.

3. His right hip joint showed signs of aging (it had a small fracture typical of what happens after a lifetime of wear and tear).

4. His body showed signs of healed fractures (ribs and nose).

5. His fingernails showed signs of stress during the last few months of his life.

6. His lungs were discolored by the residue from smoky fires.

 

The good news is that his dentist (had he had one) would have been pleased: he showed no sign of tooth decay whatsoever, only substantial wear from eating flour that was not finely milled.

And oddly enough, they discovered two peculiarities during their examinations. First, Ötzi had no wisdom teeth. Second, he was  missing his twelfth pair of ribs.

 


 

Finally, a note about his skin and hair. His body was naturally "scalped" by the process of mummification. The upper layer of skin including most of his hair had peeled right off the body during the time that he was in the ice. Though he had a full head of hair, it was not found attached to the body.

 

 

SOURCES: Arabia.com, 8/5/01; New York Times (8/7/01); Ananova.com, (10/23/01); The Chalcolithic Mummy; Ötzi, the Iceman: The Full Facts at a Glance; The Glacier Mummy

 

 

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