Archaeology Magazine

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Iceman’s Head Injury May Have Been Fatal

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 2.21.37 PMBOLZANO, ITALY—An analysis of proteins taken from a sample of Ötzi the Iceman’s brain supports the idea that he died from a head injury. In 2007, a CAT scan showed two dark areas of trauma at the back of the 5,300-year-old mummy’s cerebrum. It was suggested at the time that blood loss from an arrow wound in Ötzi’s shoulder could have caused him to lose consciousness. The head wound may then have been caused by a fall or a blow to the head. The new tests, conducted by an international team of scientists, showed a significant number of proteins from clotted blood cells related to the body’s response to stress and wound healing.