Scientists studying the body of Oetzi the Iceman — a hunter who died in the Alps 5,300 years ago — found that his last meal was particularly well-balanced.

The fat and meat of wild goat, the meat of red deer, whole wheat seeds and traces of fern leaves and spores were discovered in Oetzi’s corpse, researchers detailed in the scientific journal Current Biology on Thursday.

The leaves and spores may have been unintentionally swallowed or may have been used as medicine for parasites previously found in his gut, according to scientists.

“It was very impressive,” Frank Maixner, the lead author and a microbiologist at the Institute for Mummy Studies in Bolzano, Italy, said.

“We could see chunks and pieces of food with (the) naked eye.”

Oetzi’s remains were well-preserved from mummification when his body was found near the border between Italy and Austria in 1991.

The 5,000-year-old body of a hunter discovered in 1991 by German hikers on the Similaun glacier at a 3,000 meters altitude (10,000 feet), on the Italian side of the Alps, and taken to the Austrian town of Innsbruck, where it’s actually preserved.

Seven years after it recovers authorities have decided that the Bronze Age mummy will be brought back to the Italian town of Bolzano Friday, January 16, 1998, where a special museum has been built for it.

In 2009, a radiologist had discovered the Iceman’s stomach — which was full — had moved upwards, behind his ribcage. Researchers defrosted his body, took samples of his stomach and rehydrated them.

Nearly half of his stomach was filled with body fat from an ibex, a wild goat that still lives in the Alps. While that’s a lot of fat, Maixner said it made sense because “they had to be prepared” for the harsh terrain.

“They had to have food that gave them the necessary energy (to survive),” he said.

Albina Hulda Palsdottir, an archaeozoologist from the University of Oslo, believes the findings are very valuable.

“They’re trying to use all the methods in the toolbox to answer this really important question of what people were really eating,” she said.

The post Last meal of ancient ‘Iceman’ revealed appeared first on ARYNEWS.


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