5,300 year old Iceman bled to death

Remains of OetziA team of Swiss-Italian archaeologists have been performing extensive investigations into the death of a Neolithic man found in 1991. The remains were found emerging from the Schnalstal glacier and have been tested ever since but only now the results are being published. He died from cardiac arrest caused by shock after sustaining a massive injury and blood loss from a main artery.

The 5,300 year old Iceman is known as Oetzi and is believed to have died in a fight or as a result of one. He may have been chased and shot in the back or possibly ambushed.

Such intense investigations have examined the food and surprisingly tree pollen in the stomach which leads scientists to believe that he began the day eating in the wooded area not far from where he was found. They are unsure as to where the attack took place, either in the valley causing him to flee up the mountain, or at the top of the mountain.


Advanced computerized tomography allows imaging on many levels and so gives scientists an unprecedented view of Oetzi’s bone structure. The pictures obtained revealed a long sideways rip just under the collar bone which  is most likely caused by an arrowhead or a sharpened spear because of the radius of the rip. The clotted blood inside the hole shows that the arrows wooden shaft was broken off, most likely while he was still alive. Professor Horst Seidler speculates that it was broken off by Oetzi himself.

There has been some theories that the arrow could have been removed by a friend to try and help him or by the attacker to remove evidence. Personally I believe the latter to be a bit too complex for a Neolithic man.