Last meal of iceman revealed
MORE than 5300 years after he died, scientists have worked out what the world’s most famous ice mummy ate for his last meal.
An Australian scientist was among the team of 41 researchers from around the globe who analysed well-preserved compact pieces of food in the stomach of the mummy known as Otzi, whose frozen remains were found in the Italian Alps in 1991.
Their study found Otzi’s final meal was high in fat, with traces of red deer and ibex – a type of wild goat – in his stomach along with einkorn wheat and a type of toxic fern.
Nearly half his stomach contents were fat, quite possibly from having eaten ibex, which could have been smoked before Otzi ate it, given that charcoal particles were also in his stomach.
Philip Doble, a professor of analytical chemistry at the University of Technology Sydney, was one of the scientists who analysed Otzi’s stomach contents and discovered traces of iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and sodium along with manganese and copper.
One gram of the stomach contents was sent to him in Sydney from the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Italy, where Otzi resides in a frozen state.
Researchers examine the body of a frozen hunter known as Otzi the Iceman to sample his stomach contents in Bolzano, Italy. An Australian boffin has found what his last meal was.