Frozen in Time - The Story of Otzi the Iceman
Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 06:30 PM
Patrick Hunt, Ph.D., Stanford University
"Ötzi the Iceman," a 5,300-year-old Neolithic man of the Copper Age, was discovered in 1991 preserved in the Similaun Pass of the Otztal Alps at 10,500 feet between Italy and Austria. Since 1991, extensive ongoing scientific investigations indicate that he is unique because he is practically an archaeological site in himself. Unlike any other human remains this old discovered to date, remarkably, nearly everything of Ötzi is preserved-from his clothing, tools, gear and weapons to his last meals in his body. Amazing forensic science has recovered much detail about his life. This lecture will explore the evidence, including material technology he carried including a rare and precious copper axe, vital medical and bioarchaeological data including his DNA and full genome record, where he lived in the prehistoric Val Senales, and reconstructions of how he was killed and even possible scenarios of causes. His weapons demonstrate early archery using spiraling arrows, suggesting prehistoric knowledge of aerodynamic stabilizing technology. For those fascinated with forensic and C.S.I. investigations, Ötzi may be the "coldest case" on record. This lecture is co-sponsored by Archaeological Institute of America - Houston Society.