Ice Man (Ötzi)

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A frozen mummy was discovered in 1991 in the Tyrolean Alps, its age was estimated to be 5,100 to 5,300 years. Some claims have been made that it may be a scientific hoax but detailed analysis has negated this possibility. Also, 10-genome equivalent quantity of DNA per gram of its tissue, comprising only redundant sequences, has been recovered. One DNA sequence of the hypervariable region of the mitochondrial DNA indicated close similarities to central and north European populations. The cause of his death as revealed by an X-ray was an arrow flint. DNA analysis revealed four different types of blood on his clothing leading to the conclusion that he was involved in bloody fighting with others. mtDNA, ancient DNA, mummies; Williams AC et al 1995 Biochim Biophys Acta 1246:98; Bortenschlager S, Oeggl K eds. 2000 The Iceman and His Natural Environment. Springer, Wien, Austria.