Last meal of ice­man re­vealed

The Morning Bulletin - - NATION -

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.

Pic­ture: AP

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.

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