Otzi The Iceman : Murder Mystery

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Where was this Mummy Found?
How old is this?
What is so special about Otzi?
 Ötzi is the world's oldest wet mummy
 Clothes he wore and equipment he carried
are unique.
 Ötzi's sudden death in the ice has preserved
him virtually unchanged for thousands of
years, giving us a snapshot of the routine life
of a Copper Age man.
As a forensic scientist the real challenge was
to find his Age, Gender and cause of death.
The incredible preservation of the Iceman
has allowed for forensic techniques to be
used to give a great insight into a period of
time so long ago.
Forensic Anthropology
Age: Examination of the osteons (functional
units of bone) in Ötzi’s femur (thigh bone) put
his likely age to be around 45.
Osteons can easily be viewed with a
microscope. Slides are made by cutting a thin
slice of bone (like a slice of bread), and
viewing the tops of the osteons.
A Forensic Anthropologist can count the number of osteons
present in a bone sample, take measurements of Haversian
Canal diameters, and use this information to calculate the
approximate age of a bone sample at the time of death
Internal organs: Endoscopic examinations
have shown that Ötzi’s lungs were sootblackened due his to constant proximity to
open fires.
Parasites and pathogens: Two human fleas
were found in Ötzi’s clothing. Scientists also
found the oldest evidence of Lyme Disease,
an infectious disease transmitted by ticks, in
Ötzi’s DNA.
From examining traces of pollen in his
digestive tract, scientists were able to place
the date of Ötzi’s death at sometime in late
spring or early summer.
The contents of his stomach were also
examined, revealing that his diet consisted of
various types of grain and plants.
The mummy's mitochondrial DNA was
Ötzi’s genome has been almost completely
Ötzi was genetically predisposed to
cardiovascular disease, which manifested
itself in the form of arteriosclerosis. He was
probably lactose intolerant, and his blood
group was O positive.
Carbon Dating
For carbon dating a gram of carbon from an ancient bone is
taken and its radioactivity (beta-emissions) is measured and
compared with the radioactivity of the animal recently died.
This comparison can tell us the difference of half life between
the two. Hence we can estimate age.
Nails: Ötzi’s fingernails and toenails fell off as he decomposed. During
excavations, one fingernail and two toenails were retrieved. Horizontal
grooves, or Beau’s lines, were observed on the fingernail – an indication of
great physical stress or injury or malnutrition.
Hair: his epidermis (outer layer of the human
skin) is quickly shed in the course of
decomposition, and body most of hair were
Ötzi’s hair were analysed in a spectrometer
at the University of Oxford.
Traces of arsenic were found in his hair,
leading to the conclusion that Ötzi was
sometimes present where metal ores were
being smelted.
At first it was thought that Ötzi had died in an
accident in the mountains
On histology and high-resolution
scanning force microscopy
It was only in 2001 that an X-ray revealed a flint arrowhead in his left
shoulder, after which a 2 cm entry wound was discovered in his back
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