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Otzi the Iceman . Mr. Wyka World History Honors Citrus High School. The Facts of the Case: . In 1991, German hikers made a grisly discovery – a corpse, in a rocky hollow high in the Ötztal Alps on Italy's border with Austria.

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otzi the iceman

Otzi the Iceman

Mr. Wyka

World History Honors

Citrus High School

the facts of the case
The Facts of the Case:

In 1991, German hikers made a grisly discovery – a corpse, in a rocky hollow high in the Ötztal Alps on Italy's border with Austria.

They returned to town and reported the find to authorities, believing they had stumbled across a crime scene, or perhaps the remains of a mountain climbing exhibition gone bad.

The ÖtztalAlps

the iceman
The Iceman

Authorities removed the remains, not realizing what they had discovered, damaging the corpse in the process.

Further research showed that the hikers had in fact stumbled upon the remains of a Neolithic man who died 5300 years earlier (confirmed by Carbon 14 dating).

the iceman today
The Iceman today

In his refrigerated cell in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

the iceman1
The Iceman

Copper Headed Axe. This discovery pushed back the date of the Copper Age in Europe by 1000 years! It indicated Otzi was probably a man of great importance.

Flint Knife and Sheath

facts of the case
Facts of the Case:
  • Mortal Wound: Arrow embedded in left shoulder, would have pierced the left subclavianartery. The location of the arrowhead suggests he was shot from behind and below.
  • There was no sign of the arrow shaft, suggesting someone attempted to pull it out or at least break it off.
  • He had a partially healed gash on his hand.
  • Multiple rib fractures from old injuries.
  • Evidence of head trauma
facts of the case1
Facts of the Case:
  • Otzi was approximately 45 years of age when he died, for his time, rather elderly.
  • His last meal was of a primitive hard bread baked on an open charcoal fire and red deer.
  • He died in late spring or early summer (pollen traces found verify this).
  • Evidence suggests he began his journey from the valleys to the south.
  • The hollow in which he died protected his remains from being ground to bits by the glacier that preserved him.

Dutch forensic experts Alfons and AdrieKennis, painstakingly recreate the face of Otzi.

facts of the case2
Facts of the Case:
  • Otzi was well equipped for his journey, wearing three layers of garments and sturdy shoes with bearskin soles.
  • He had a aflint-tipped dagger, a fire-starting kit with flint and pyrite, and a birchbark container holding embers wrapped in maple leaves.
  • He also had an ingenious tool for pressure flaking flint; consisting of a piece of lime tree branch, pointed on one side. On the pointed side a hole was drilled, into which a bone plug (stag antler) was inserted with which the knapping was done.
facts of the case3
Facts of the Case:
  • However, he headed into a harsh wilderness curiously under-armed: The arrows in his deerskin quiver were only half finished, as if he had recently fired all his munitions and was in the process of hastily replenishing them.
  • He was traveling with a long, roughly shaped stalk of yew—an unfinished longbow, yet to be notched and strung. Why?
your job write the final chapter of otzi the iceman s life
Your Job: Write the final chapter of Otzi the Iceman’s life?
  • Based on the evidence presented, what do you think happened to this Neolithic man?
  • Discuss the facts with your group members.
  • Write a brief account of Otzi’s last day(s).
  • Be specific and use evidence to back up your assertions.