About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

Study Reveals That Iceman Oetzi Died of Severe Head Trauma

by VR Sreeraman on September 1, 2007 at 4:08 PM
Study Reveals That Iceman Oetzi Died of Severe Head Trauma

Severe head trauma added to the lethal arrowhead would in the shoulder that killed iceman Oetzi, a new research has revealed.

The study builds on research by Frank Rühli of the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, published in June this year, which showed that the 46-year-old iceman bled to death when an arrow lacerated the subclavian artery, which lies just below the collarbone.


Rühli had conducted CT scan on the body and found a lesion very close to the shoulder artery.

A previous scan on the body in 2005 by Dr. Rühli, Dr. Eduard Egarter Vigl of the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy, and Drs. Patrizia Pernter and Paul Gostner from the Department of Radiology at General Hospital Bolzano had revealed a lesion of the dorsal wall of the left subclavian artery.

The artery is underneath the clavicle, which was caused by a previously undetected arrowhead that remains in the back of the ice mummy - first discovered in 1991 in the melting glacier 10,500 feet (3,210 meters) above sea level in the Ötztal Alps in South Tyrol, northern Italy some 15 years ago - hence the name Oetzi.

Albert Zink, director of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Academy in Bolzano, Italy said the only "new thing researchers have now detected is the trauma of the skull".

"The wound from the arrowhead was so severe that he would have died from it alone. But it was probably a combination of these two injuries," said Zink.

Rühli, however, said the head trauma, probably caused by a blow to the head, was secondary to the fatal arrowhead wound. "If the artery starts bleeding, it's a matter of minutes to die, [while] the trauma to the head is maybe a major trauma ... but it doesn't kill you instantly," said Rühli.

Zink said scientists are, however, still unsure whether the head trauma or the arrow wound came first, adding that arrowhead and head trauma evidence has still failed to reveal the sequence of events that led to Oetzi's end.

Zink said the most probable scenario was that Oetzi was first struck by the arrow and then struck in the head, or that he hit his head on rocks when he fell.

The findings appear in the current issue of the archaeological magazine Germania, reports National Geographic.

Source: ANI
Font : A-A+



Recommended Readings

Latest Research News

Insight into Cellular Stress: Mechanisms Behind MRNA Sequestration Revealed
The discovery deepens our understanding of m6A biology and stress granule formation, with implications for neurodegenerative diseases.
Disrupted Circadian Rhythm Elevates the Risk of Parkinson's Disease
Trouble with sleep and the body's clock may increase your risk for Parkinson's, as per a new study.
A Wake-Up Call for Women — Hot Flashes Could Point to Alzheimer's Risk
New study uncovers a link between nocturnal hot flashes and Alzheimer's risk in menopausal women, suggesting a potential biomarker.
Breakthrough Brain-Centered Approach Reduces Chronic Back Pain
Our discovery revealed that a minority of individuals attributed their chronic pain to their brain's involvement.
New Statement to Protect Athletes' Health Published
Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport syndrome is overlooked by athletes and can be worsened by 'sports culture' due to its perceived short-term performance benefits.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot

Study Reveals That Iceman Oetzi Died of Severe Head Trauma Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests