"The Ice Man"

Living links to the Iceman have now been revealed by a new DNA study. Gene researchers looking at unusual markers on the Iceman's male sex chromosome report that they have uncovered at least 19 genetic relatives of Ötzi in Austria's Tyrol region.

The match was made from samples of 3,700 anonymous blood donors in a study led by Walther Parson at Innsbruck Medical University. Sharing a rare mutation known as G-L91, "the Iceman and those 19 share a common ancestor, who may have lived 10,000 to 12,000 years ago," Parson said.

Besides his physical ailments, the Iceman had several anatomical abnormalities. He lacked both wisdom teeth and a 12th pair of ribs. The mountain man also sported a caddish gap between his two front teeth.

So Who Was Otzi the Iceman?

The Iceman stood about 158 cm (5'2") tall, and weighed about 61 kg (134 lbs). He was rather short compared to most European males of the time, but sturdily built. He was in his mid-40s, and his strong leg muscles and overall fitness suggest that he may have spent his life herding sheep andgoats up and down the Tyrolean Alps. He died about 5200 years ago, in the late spring. His health was fair for the period--he had arthritis in his joints and he had whipworm, which would have been quite painful.

Otzi had several tattoos on his body, including a cross on the inside of his left knee; six parallel straight lines arranged in two rows on his back above his kidneys, each about 6 inches long; and several parallel lines on his ankles. Some have argued that tattooing may have been some sort of acupuncture




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