Dating the iceman
Each haplogroup represents an isolated population of ancient people whose unique genetic mutations can tie them to a particular geographical location—the Öztal Alps in this case—and early migratory routes.The scientists have not yet informed the mummy’s relatives of their ancestral connection. For starters, it could be tough to shoulder the fame of being related to such a renowned mummy.PBS recently aired an intriguing documentary (first aired in 2011) covering an investigation into the death of earth’s oldest cold case.
The lone exception to his days in this cold enclosure came in November, 2010, when a team of nearly two dozen researchers came together for an in-depth investigation of the “iceman.” Ötzi was thawed out for nine hours, during which time he essentially received an autopsy as the scientists attempted to solve many of the mysteries surrounding his death.
Inflated radiocarbon dates are the result of several unverifiable assumptions,1 but the scientists on the program found the dates surprising for other reasons.
For example, discovered with the iceman was a copper ax, an instrument the scientists said was far too advanced for someone of his time period—by a thousand years!
The PBS program showed footage from these procedures and interviewed some of the scientists, allowing them to explain their findings.
In 2001 a radiologist studying the original CT scans of Ötzi noticed something everyone else had assumed was a bone.
This made me cringe since I underwent six of those procedures during my battle with leukemia, and they were quite painful—although obviously not for Ötzi.