2018-06-29 00:06:30 UTC
Note: If you come across a corpse on a frozen mountaintop and it's brown rather than waxy, assume it's ancient and contact some university first, not the police! (The mummy was badly damaged by a jackhammer.)
"What the implements found with the body of Ötzi revealed about the Copper Age."
By Nicholas St. Fleur
...The team also analyzed the wooden retoucher, which had a deer’s antler stuck inside it. This tool was used to sharpen the stone tools by flaking off new sharp edges. The shape of the end-scraper, a long-rounded stone most likely used to cut plants and strip animal hide, suggested that it was used by someone who was right-handed. It had been recently sharpened, based on its glossy appearance, Dr. Wierer concluded.
“It’s really surprising how many re-sharpenings and how many modifications we can see on this tool,” she said. “The Iceman did a last re-sharpening and perhaps wanted to use it again, but there was no time.”
Researchers have learned a lot about Ötzi, including his dapper wardrobe, stomach parasites, and how he may have died. The new findings add just a touch more detail to the attempts to reconstruct his final itinerary.
About 33 hours before he died, the 46-year-old Ötzi ate a meal in the mountains. Then, in the next nine hours before death, he descended the mountain, sharpened his end-scraper and borer and probably worked on his bow and arrow shafts.
A little while later, he got into a skirmish and was stabbed on his right hand. Some 12 hours before he died, he ate another meal in a valley, and then climbed nearly two miles up the mountain again, which was a hike of about a day or two away from his community. Five or four hours before death, he had a third meal and perhaps a little later a fourth. Then an arrow shot by a Southern Alpine archer struck the Iceman from behind, shattering his scapula and severing an artery.