Scientists have figured out what to eat “Alpine ice man”


Scientists have figured out what to eat "Alpine ice man"

© Photo : Southtyrolarchaeologymuseum\Eurac\M. Samadelli

MOSCOW, 12 APR – RIA Novosti. The Famous Oetzi, "Alpine ice man" ate very fatty and unhealthy food — meat and fat of mountain goats, deer, and wheat "porridge", the scientists write in an article published in the journal Current Biology.

Scientists have figured out what to eat "Alpine ice man"

Scientists have learned which hand was used "Alpine ice man"

"Life in the cold and high mountains are especially challenging and requires optimal access to nutrients in order to avoid starvation and death. It seems that Oetzi was well aware that the fat in these circumstances, it becomes an excellent source of energy"— said albert Zinc (Albert Zink), head of the Institute for the study of the mummy in Bolzano (Italy).

"Ice man" was found in the Alps on the border between Italy and Austria in 1991. Initially it was thought that this is the lost climber, but then it turned out that the mummified body of more than 5 thousand years. The remains of Oetzi was dated from 3365 to 3118 BC. "Ice man" died from arrow hit in the shoulder. In February 2012 the Italian genetics published the full genome of the mummy.

Scientists have figured out what to eat "Alpine ice man"

© Photo : Southtyrolarchaeologymuseum\Eurac\M. Samadelli

MOSCOW, 12 APR – RIA Novosti. The Famous Oetzi, "Alpine ice man" ate very fatty and unhealthy food — meat and fat of mountain goats, deer, and wheat "porridge", the scientists write in an article published in the journal Current Biology.

Scientists have figured out what to eat "Alpine ice man"Scientists have learned which hand was used "Alpine ice man"

"Life in the cold and high mountains are especially challenging and requires optimal access to nutrients in order to avoid starvation and death. It seems that Oetzi was well aware that the fat in these circumstances, it becomes an excellent source of energy"— said albert Zinc (Albert Zink), head of the Institute for the study of the mummy in Bolzano (Italy).

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"Ice man" was found in the Alps on the border between Italy and Austria in 1991. Initially it was thought that this is the lost climber, but then it turned out that the mummified body of more than 5 thousand years. The remains of Oetzi was dated from 3365 to 3118 BC. "Ice man" died from arrow hit in the shoulder. In February 2012 the Italian genetics published the full genome of the mummy.

A first analysis of the wounds on the body of Oetzi carried out with Zinc and his colleagues in may 2012, showed that the Alpine ice man had received some pretty severe injuries before death, many of whom do not have time to heal before his death. This led the scientists assume that Oetzi fell victim to a certain armed conflict or "showdown" among the tribes of the ancient inhabitants of Italy, unsuccessfully trying to escape from the battlefield after a defeat.

Later scientists found traces of food in the intestines Oetzi, but his last meal, because of poor preservation of these remains was a mystery for anthropologists to this day. The reason for this was simple: originally, the Zinc and his colleagues couldn’t find the stomach within the body of the ice man, as his position has shifted during the mummification.

Scientists have figured out what to eat "Alpine ice man"

Genetics revealed the mother’s home Alpine "ice man"

When the stomach was found, scientists were able to study its contents on a microscopic and molecular level and restore the fragments of DNA that were found in "soup" of gastric juices and half-digested food.

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As said Zinc, his team was able to find in the stomach of Oetzi large number of meat fibres, the remains of plant biomass, as well as a large amount of fat. Their molecular analysis showed that immediately before the death "Alpine ice man" ate meat of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) and red deer (Cervus elaphus).

Scientists have figured out what to eat "Alpine ice man"

© Institute for Mummy Studies\Eurac Research\Frank Maixner

"Garnish" they were served some porridge or other dish of the grains of wild or semi-wild wheat (Triticum monococcum), which could grow the inhabitants of the Alps during the bronze age and the leaves are poisonous bracken Pteridium aquilinum. Its presence suggests that Oetzi and his relatives could use this plant as "seasoning" protecting them from worms and other parasites, and bacterial infections.

Scientists have figured out what to eat "Alpine ice man"Scientists have figured out how he died "Alpine ice man" Oetzi

Structure of own fat and protein molecules in the fibres of the meat, in turn, suggests that Oetzi was eating no fried or boiled meat, and smoked or dried alentino and goat meat, which he apparently had prepared before his last hike in the mountains or purchased from the friendly tribes of the ancient inhabitants of Italy.

Such a diet, as the Zinc, at the same time helped him to survive in the harsh Alpine cold, but it negatively affected the condition of his vessels and the heart. If Oetzi had died from the arrows of the enemy, he would die of a heart attack or stroke in later life, the scientists conclude.

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