In the time since his discovery, Otzi has become a veritable celebrity of the scientific world — providing insights and blowing away assumptions about the ancient world.
Below are just a few of the secrets researchers have uncovered from the Iceman, his possessions and the circumstances surrounding his unusual death. This period of time is categorized as the Late Neolithic, notable for such inventions as the wheel, the rise of agriculture, mathematics and astronomy.
The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is now used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's calendar age.
Carbon dating the iceman
The fungus, which includes both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds, was highly valued for its medicinal properties.
It's also highly toxic to whipworms, a parasite discovered by researchers in Otzi's colon.
Freshly modified blade tools without any wear suggest planned work which he never carried out, possibly prevented by the events which made him return to the mountains where he was killed by a Southern Alpine archer," the study notes.
The style and materials used to make his tools come from at least three different areas in the Southalpine region and are reflective of northern Italian and Swiss Horgen culture, which shows he interacted with other transalpine people.
Scientists analyzing bone and tissue samples from Otzi discovered that he likely died somewhere between 3239-3107 B. In 2018, researchers published a detailed analysis of the tools discovered alongside Otzi's body.
A dagger, two arrowheads, endscraper, borer, small flake and antler retoucher were made from a dark, opaque, silica-based rock called chert or related to the shaping of chert.A study of the stomach in 2011 showed that two hours before death, he ate another meal of ibex, a wild goat and yet more grains.Another study conducted in 2018 revealed he had a high proportion of fat in his diet that was supplemented with fresh and dried wild meat, cereals and toxic bracken (ferns).According to Science Know How, the birch fungus when consumed by Otzi would have "killed at least some of the intestinal parasites and purged his bowels of their eggs." It's regarded by scientists as the oldest medicine kit ever discovered.Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon.Additional complications come from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and from the above-ground nuclear tests done in the 1950s and 1960s.