Iceman research milestones


Iceman research milestones

The following chronological list summarizes the most important results since the Iceman was discovered in 1991



2001

Radiologist Paul Gostner discovers that the Iceman was murdered. He was shot with an arrow

Publication: E. Egarter Vigl/ P. Gostner, Insight: Report of Radiological-Forensic Findings on the Iceman. Journal of Archaeological Science (2002) 29, 323-326


2002

The Iceman’s last meal

Publication: Rollo, F.U. et al., Ötzi’s last meals: DNA analysis of the intestinal content of the Neolithic glacier mummy from the Alps, PNAS October 1 vol 99 no 99 (2002)


2003

The Iceman did not come from abroad, he was born and lived in what is now South Tyrol

Publication: W. Müller, H. Fricke, A.N. Halliday, M.T. McCulloch, J.-A. Wartho, Origin and Migration of the Alpine Iceman, Science 302, 31 Oct. 2003, 862-866


2003

A cut in his hand shows a battle before the Iceman died

Publication: A. Nerlich, B. Bachmeier, A. Zink, S. Thalhammer, E. Egarter Vigl, Ötzi had a wound on his right hand, The Lancet 362, July 26, 2003


2006

The Iceman belongs to the European genetic haplogroup K and was probably infertile

Publication: F.U. Rollo/L. Ermini/S. Luciani/, I. Marota, C. Olivieri, D. Luiselli, Fine characterization of the Iceman’s mtDNA Haplogroup. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 130 (2006) 557-564


2006

The Iceman’s constitution was athletic, he was more a wanderer than a manual worker

Publication: C.B. Ruff, B.M. Holt, V. Sladek, M. Berner, W.A. Murphy jr, D. zur Nedden, H. Seidler, W. Recheis, Body size, body proportions and mobility in the Tyrolean “Iceman”, Journal of Human Evolution 51-1 (2006) 91-101


2006/7

The Iceman bled to death. The arrow tip in his left shoulder pierced the subclavian artery

Publication: P. Pernter, P. Gostner, E. Egarter Vigl, F. R. Rühli, Radiologic Proof for the Iceman's cause of death (ca. 5300 BP), Journal of Archaeological Science (2007), 1-3


2007

The last 33 hours in the Iceman’s life by the pollen found in his intestine

Publication: Oeggl, K., Kofler, W., Schmidl, A., Dickson, J.H., Egarter-Vigl, E., Gaber, O., The reconstruction of the last itinerary of "Ötzi", the Neolithic Iceman, by pollen analyses from sequentially sampled gut extracts. In: Quaternary Science Reviews 26 (2007) 853-861


2007

New radiological photos show brain trauma and prompt new theories about his death

Publication: Lippert, A., Gostner, P., Egarter Vigl, E., Pernter, P., Vom Leben und Sterben des Ötztaler Gletschermannes. Germania 85-1 (2007) 1-21;


2007

Brain trauma and head injuries: new theories about the Iceman’s death

(Dr. Paul Gostner, Head of Radiology, Regional Hospital of Bolzano/Italy) Publication: Pernter, P. / Gostner, P. / Egarter-Vigl, E. / Rühli, F. J.: Radiologic proof for the Iceman`s cause of death (ca. 5300 BP). In: Journal of Archeological Science, 34 (2007) 1784 – 1786 (doi:10.1016/j.jas.2006.12.019)


2008

Publication of the complete Mitochondrial (maternal) Genome Sequence of the Iceman

The Iceman genome is the oldest complete Homo sapiens mtDNA genome generated to date. The Iceman belonged to a branch of mitochondrial haplogroup K1 that has not yet been identified in modern European populations.
Publication: Ermini, L. / Olivieri, C. / Rizzi, E. / Corti, G. / Bonnal, R. / Soares, P. / Luciani, S. / Marota, I. / De Bellis, G. / Richards, M. B. / Rollo, F.: Complete Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Tyrolean Iceman. In: Current Biology, Vol. 18 (2008) 1687-93


2009

The Iceman died in early summer

(Prof. Dr. Klaus Oeggl, Institut für Botanik, Universität Innsbruck/Austria) Publication: Oeggl, K.: The significance of the Tyrolean Iceman for the Archaeobotany of Central Europe. In: Veget Hist Archaeobot (2009) 18:1-11


2011

Researchers identify blood cells and sequence the y-chromosomal DNA of the Iceman (paternal). Iceman’s stomach content is analyzed. The Iceman had dental pathologies. The Iceman was involved in seasonal transhumance.

(Albert Zink (DNA), Marek Janko (blood), Frank Maixner (stomach), EURAC-Institute for mummies and the Iceman, laboratory for ancient DNA); Roger Seiler (teeth), Centre for Evolutionary Medicine (ZEM) Zurich; Wolfgang Müller (transhumance), Royal Holloway University of London. All studies have been presented at the EURAC Iceman Congress in October, 20-22nd 2011 in Bolzano. Most of them are yet published in scientific journals, some of them also in the “Yearbook of mummy studies” 2014.


2012

The Iceman’s genome (nuclear DNA) is deciphered.

First results: The Iceman had brown eyes, blood group 0 and belongs to the y-chromosomal Haplogroup G2a2b (formerly G2a4), which is rare in modern Europe. The Iceman was lactose intolerant. Maladies: The Iceman was predisposed to cardiovascular disease and is the first recorded case of a human infected with the Lyme disease pathogen.

Publication: Keller, A. / Graefen, A. / Ball, M. / Matzas, M. / Boisguerin, V. / Maixner, F. / Leidinger, P. / Backes, C. / Khairat, R. / Forster, M. / Stade, B. / Franke, A. / Mayer, J. / Spangler, J. / McLaughlin, S. / Shah, M. / Lee, C. / Harkins, T.T. / Sartori, A. / Moreno-Estrada, A. / Henn, B. / Sikora, M. / Semino, O. / Chiaroni, J. / Rootsi, S. / Myres, N.M. / Cabrera, V.M. / Underhill, P.A. / Bustamante, C.D. / Egarter Vigl, E. / Samadelli, M. / Cipollini, G. / Haas, J. / Katus, H. / O’Connor, B.D. / Carlson, M.R.J. / Meder, B. / Blin, N. / Meese, E. / Pusch, C.M. / Zink, A.: New insights into the Tyrolean Iceman's origin and phenotype as inferred by whole-genome sequencing. In: Nature Communications 3:698 doi: 10.1038/ncomms1701 (2012)


2013

The Iceman suffered from tooth decay and periodontosis

Publication: Seiler, R. / Spielman, A.I. / Zink, A. / Rühli, F.: Oral pathologies of the Neolithic Iceman, c. 3,300 BC. In: European Journal of Oral Sciences (2013) 1-5


2013

Evidence of 5,00 year old red blood cells (intracranial haematoma) and proteins in the brain of the Iceman

Publication: Maixner, F. / Overath, T. / Linke, D. / Janko, M. / Guerriero, G. / van den Berg, B.H.J. / Stade, B./ Leidinger, P. / Backes, C. / Jaremek, M. / Kneissl, B. / Meder, B. / Franke, A. / Egarter-Vigl, E. / Meese, E. / Schwarz, A. / Tholey,A. / Zink, A. / Keller, A: Paleoproteomic study of the Iceman’s brain tissue. In: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (2013) o.S.; DOI: 10.1007/s00018-013-1360-y


2014

Non human bacteria in the Iceman DNA: opportunistic oral pathogen associated with periodontal disease detected

Publication: Maixner, F. / Thomma, A. / Cipollini, F. / Widder, W. / Rattei, T. / Zink, A.: Metagenomic Analysis Reveals Presence of Treponema denticola in a Tissue Biopsy of the Iceman. In: Plos One 9, 6 (2014) 1-10




2015

The Iceman has 61 tattoos (new tattoo discovered). They are the oldest (known) tattoos of the world

Publications: Samadelli, M. / Melis, M. / Miccolic, M. / Egarter Vigl, E. / Zink, A.R.: Complete mapping of the tattoos of the 5300-year-old Tyrolean Iceman. In: Journal of cultural heritage (2015), DOI: 10.1016/j.culher.2014.12.005; Deter-Wolf, A. / Robitaille, B. / Krutak, L. / Gaillot, S.: The world’s oldest tattoos. In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 5 (2016) 19-24; online 12.11.2015 Link


2016

Evidence of Helicobacter pylori in the stomach of the Iceman

Article: Maixner, F. / Krause-Kyora, B. / Turaev, D. / Herbig, A. / Hoopmann, M.R. / Hallows, J.L. / Kusebauch, U. / Egarter Vigl, E. / Malfertheiner, P. / Megraud, F. / O’Sullivan, N. / Cipollini, G. / Coia, V. / Samadelli, M. / Engstrand, L. / Linz, B. / Moritz, R.L. / Grimm, R. / Krause, J. / Nebel, A. / Moodley, Y. / Rattei, T. / Zink, A.: The 5300-year-old Helicobacter pylori genome of the Iceman. In: Science VOL 351 ISSUE 6269 (2016) 162-165, doi: 10.1126/science.aad2545


2016

The Iceman’s maternal genetic line originated in the Alps and is now extinct.

Article: Coia, V. / Cipollini, G. / Anagnostou, P. / Maixner, F. / Battaggia, C. / Brisighelli, F. / Gómez-Carballa, A. / Destro Bisol, G. / Salas, A. / Zink, A.: Whole mitochondrial DNA sequencing in Alpine populations and the genetic history of the Neolithic Tyrolean Iceman. In: Science Report 6, 18932 (2016), doi: 10.1038/srep18932

2016

Determination of mDNA of nine leather samples from Ötzi’s artefacts

News: the Iceman’s quiver was made, among others, from deer hide. The loincloth mas made from sheep hide. It was also shown that a piece of leather strap from a shoe was of bovine origin.
article: O’Sullivan, N.J. / Teasdale, M.D. / Mattiangeli, V. / Maixner, F. / Pinhasi, R. / Bradley, D.G. / Zink, A.: A whole mitochondria analysis of the Tyrolean Iceman’s leather provides insights into the animal sources of Copper Age clothing. In: Scientific Reports 6 (2016) 31279, doi: 10.1038/srep31279;


2016

The copper used to make Ötzi’s axe blade comes from ore mined in southern Tuscany

Ötzi was probably not involved in working the metal himself, as the high levels of arsenic and copper found in his hair had, until now, led us to assume.
article: the scientific publications of Gilberto Artioli and Wolfgang Müller will follow. In the meantime see press news of 19th Sept 2016 of the 3rd Bolzano Mummy Congress - Ötzi: 25 years of research

2016

Criminal profiling of the Iceman’s murder

The murder of Ötzi seems to have been brought about due to a personal conflict a few days before his demise. The reason for the offence is more likely to be found in some sort of personal conflict situation, in a previous hostile encounter.
article: the analysis of the OFA group with alexander Horn, Police department Munich. In the meantime see press news of 19th Sept 2016 of the 3rd Bolzano Mummy Congress - Ötzi: 25 years of research.

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