Otzi the Iceman and life after death

Discuss

31 Responses to “Otzi the Iceman and life after death”

  1. Brainspore says:

    I still can’t believe how many years it took for someone to notice the dang arrowhead lodged in the guy’s back. I’m no forensic pathologist, but it seems like that should have been one of the first things to stand out in the x-rays.

  2. matt dean says:

    Nice thought provoking article. Note to self: Working in an office and wearing a tie is pretty much the same thing as dying in a swamp.

  3. hassenpfeffer says:

    This poor dude has been mined for so much information and scientific “glory” that he should be renamed Kimberley.

  4. SedanChair says:

    There was a second bowman behind the icy knoll

  5. hassenpfeffer says:

    Also, on the subject of donating your body for science: http://boingboing.net/2011/05/31/the-red-market-book.html

  6. Mordicai says:

    Oh man, that is a really good tattoo idea.

  7. babVU98i says:

    “Bleeding to death in the late afternoon when it was getting cold up there, this could be really dangerous.”
    Yep. Gotta agree.  Bleeding to death can be really dangerous.

  8. kaplanfx says:

    “There’s no evidence that Otzi was a particularly important figure to his culture.”

    Actually there is some evidence that Otzi might have been important, at least in his little community.  He was found with a copper axe (before the find, copper smelting was not thought to be developed until at least a thousand years later).  Some believe that the axe was a status symbol meaning Otzi was in fact important to his community.  Also he was probably murdered so there is the mystery around that. http://www.iceman.it/en/axe

  9. RuthlessRuben says:

    And back home, the argument ist still raging over whether he was Austrian or Italian, because he died right next to the modern border. On the Italian side, which is the chief argument.

    Considering that he is a couple of thousand years older than any notion of complex civilization, it seems a bit silly to have a multiple-decade multi-million dollar argument which basically comes to down to being a matter of principle.

    I guess storing him in South Tyrol is a good compromise, considering the people there have evaded the argument whether they’re Italian or Austrian for years as well, and with quite some skill.

    • Rich Keller says:

      If they wanted to get particularly particular about his “citizenship,” maybe they could analyze the enamel in his teeth for isotopes specific to the drinking water in the area where he grew up. Unless the isotopes have changed over the last five thousand years. I’m sure someone on the Boing would know for sure about that. Maybe he got shot with the arrow and then the archer planted the axe on him so it looked like self-defence. ; )

      • Ipo says:

        Analysis of pollen, dust grains and the isotopic composition of his tooth enamel indicates that he spent his childhood near the present village of Feldthurns,  north of Bolzano, but later went to live in valleys about 50 kilometres further north. 
        He grew up in pre-Italy but emigrated to pre-Österreich (Austria).

  10. blackanvil says:

    It took so long to notice the arrowhead because stone is similar in density to bone, and people looking at the xrays couldn’t see the difference. Take a look for yourself: http://www.documentingreality.com/forum/attachments/f181/313628d1319992831-iceman-autopsy-10-left-shoulder-xray-670.jpg
    Be honest. Does that look like an arrowhead to you? Because it doesn’t to me.

    • Brainspore says:

      That does clear it up for me somewhat. Like I said, I’m no forensic pathologist. I still hope that team isn’t ever called upon to investigate a contemporary murder, though… the culprit might be long dead before they find the bullet wound.

      • Halloween_Jack says:

        Remember that a coroner basically has permission to take apart a body as much as they need to in order to find the cause of death and other medical evidence; Otzi is a one-of-a-kind find and therefore I think they’re a bit more reluctant to perform invasive/destructive tests and procedures on the corpse. Plus, there’s not exactly a huge body of prior knowledge on what to look for in a 5000-year-old corpse.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      It took so long to notice the arrowhead because stone is similar in density to bone, and people looking at the xrays couldn’t see the difference.

      Given that radiologists are trained to spot diseased tissue in the midst of healthy tissue, I’m not sure that argument really flies.  Unless they never bothered to have a trained radiologist look at the films.

  11. Mike Scott says:

    The tattoo looks like an ‘I Ching’ reading.

  12. bo1n6bo1n6 says:

    Business idea: An extreme burial service that implants people into the perma-ice to preserve them for 5000 years for people to oogle and ponder…

  13. jparkuntz says:

    I seem to recall there being plausible conjecture that Otzi might have been a criminal, driven away and hunted down. I find that path towards immortality a little less inspirational.

  14. ffabian says:

    Otzi? Ötzi!

    When your keyboard doesnt have a key for the umlauts substitute “ö” with “oe”.

  15. Crispy King says:

    Hey Mike, that’s not a tattoo, Ötzi slipped and fell onto the BBQ …

  16. Guest says:

    I’m OK You’re OK. That’s OK. 

  17. Brainspore says:

    Yeah, but… expensive MRIs and stuff…

    Oh well. I guess there’s probably a good reason somewhere. Just seems like a big thing to miss on a body that had ostensibly been studied for over a decade.

  18. Mike Goldstein says:

    Hi – When I was browsing BB this morning I didn’t expect to see an article about myself! Thanks for the surprise :)

  19. Culturedropout says:

    The “tattoos” are actually barcodes the ancient aliens used to keep track of their human slaves while they were building the Stargates.

    P.S. – Note to self: Umlaut would be a great name for a dog.  Particularly a dachshund…

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