Tags: otzi the iceman | brain | injury

Otzi The Iceman Suffered Brain Injury Before Being Ambushed and Killed

By    |   Wednesday, 12 Jun 2013 09:34 AM

Europe's oldest known mummy, Otzi The Iceman, may have been ambushed and suffered brain injury in his final moments, while he was eating a meal some 5,300 years ago, scientists revealed in a study published this month in the journal "Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences."

Researchers maintain that Otzi, who was found in the Italian Alps in 1991, suffered from heart disease and other ailments, but what really killed him was an arrow, according to LiveScience.

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Scientists said Otzi was hit in the shoulder with an "artery-piercing arrow" and that there was an undigested meal in Otzi's stomach at the time of his death.

Another study in 2012 study in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface suggests that Otzi likely died shortly after his injuries.

A team from the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen found clotted blood cells in brain tissue samples, according to U.S. News & World Report. (http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/06/11/otzi-the-iceman-may-have-had-brain-damage)

Researchers theorized that the Otzi's brain had been bruised before his death, but they could not determine the source of the bruising – whether it was from a blow to the head or falling to the ground after being hit by an arrow.

"Investigating mummified tissue can be very frustrating," said researcher Frank Maixner in a EURAC news release. "The samples are often damaged or contaminated and do not necessarily yield results, even after several attempts and using a variety of investigative methods.

"When you think that we have succeeded in identifying actual tissue changes in a human who lived over 5,000 years ago, you can begin to understand how pleased we are as scientists that we persisted with our research after many unsuccessful attempts," the microbiologist added. "It has definitely proved worthwhile."

Finding Otzi's well-preserved body in the 1990s in the icy Alps has given scientists insight into how man lived during the Copper Age. (http://www.iceman.it/en)

When he was discovered, they found that Otzi carried an extensive pack of items that allowed him to travel for long periods of time. Researchers determined that the items, which made him efficient and self-reliant, ultimately allowed him to survive.

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Europe's oldest known mummy may have been ambushed and suffered brain injury in his final moments, while eating a meal some 5,300 years ago, scientists studying his body revealed in a study published this month in the scientific journal "Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences."
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Wednesday, 12 Jun 2013 09:34 AM
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