Revealed: How The Iceman 'Ötzi' Was Killed Over 5000 Years Ago

How did this mummified man, found in 1991 in the ice of the Austro-Italian alps, die? More than 5,000 years old, his cause of death has recently been revealed thanks to new state-of-the-art analyses.

© New York Times

Discovered by chance on 19th September 1991 in the ice at the Hauslabjoch site in the Val Senales in Italy, the body of a man who died 5,300 years ago has been a mystery for more than two decades.

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A death that until recently was a mystery

Until this day, numerous experts have been looking into the case of the ‘iceman’ named Ötzi, for about twenty years to determine his cause of death. In 2007, with the progress in scientific medicine and the use of X-rays, there was already a theory that Ötzi died from an arrow that had hit him in the back. But the puzzle still wasn’t completely solved.

Recently, the Archeological Museum in Bolzano in Italy that houses the corpse of the prehistoric man asked inspector Alexander Horn from the Munich Police if he would look into Ötzi’s case again to try and find out more about his death.

A victim of premeditated murder

As the New York Times explains, after investigations, Alexander Horn concluded that the iceman was probably a victim of homicide on behalf of a jealous rival. According to him, Ötzi could have argued a few days earlier with a rival who could have then returned to exact revenge on him.

‘The aim of the offender was to kill him, and he decides to take a long-distance shot. Most homicides are personal, and follow violence and an escalation of violence,’ explains the inspector to the New York Times.

Alexander Horn noticed that the iceman had eaten a ‘cooked’ meal about half an hour before he died, proving that he definitely wasn’t expecting to die when he did.

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