New theory about Italy's 'Iceman' proposed

Aug. 26, 2010 at 2:35 PM   |   Comments

BOLZANO, Italy, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Italy's prehistoric "Iceman" was not buried where he was killed, an Italian researchers says.

The 5,300-year-old specimen, whose frozen mummy is kept in a museum in the northern Italian city of Bolzano, died from an arrow shot in the back that hit a major artery, according to 2005 studies, ANSA reported Thursday.

Now Luca Bondioli of the National Ethnology Museum in Rome argues the ancient hunter, dubbed Oetzi, was slain on a different glacier than the one he was found on in the Oetz Valley between Austria and Italy.

In a paper published in the journal Antiquity, Bondioli agrees with the cause of the Iceman's death but says a new examination of objects found with him show the body was moved from a nearby glacier.

"Oetzi was buried in ceremonial fashion some time after his death," Bondioli claims.

The Iceman's discovery on the Similaun glacier in 1991 has spawned a number of theories about how he got there.

Scientists have argued about what he was doing so high up in the Alps, whether he died in combat or in a ritual sacrifice, or if he was perhaps an outcast driven from his village because he was unable to have children.

Bolzano's Iceman museum is visited by thousands of people each year.

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