, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1138-1139
Date: 24 Jan 2009

New evidence for Ötzi’s final trauma

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Sir: Recently, we have shown that the Similaun Iceman, called “Ötzi”, suffered from a deep wound to his right hand [1]. Histology and histochemistry clearly indicated that the laceration must have been survived for at least several days. A parallel CAT scan study by Pertner and co-workers [2] further identified an arrow head in the left axilla that might have caused death due to laceration of the brachial artery and acute bleeding. Concomitantly, a small skin wound was detected on the Iceman’s back which was identified as the entry point of the arrow (Fig. 1a). In consequence, chronologically independent injuries have been claimed. However, the events (and their eventual time courses) leading to the Iceman’s death remain unclear. Our present report describes morphological evidence that Ötzi′s arrow wound—and a small suffusion lesion on the Iceman’s back—represent fresh presumably vital bleeding and were not survived for a significant time period. Besides these two injuries two further