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Ötzi and death

arrowhead_bbc_203.jpg

New studies published in Journal of Archaeological Science and reported by the BBC, suggest that Ötzi died because an arrow cut one of his arteries, leading to massive blood loss and, finally, a heart-stroke. The cut artery was found in a CT scan, which showed also the route of the arrow. It went through the shoulderblade (good momentum in the arrow) and was removed before the blood stopped running; probably before Ötzi was dead.

It was known that Ötzi was in a fight, the cuts on his hands and the blood of 4 other people on his gear indicate as much. He has bloob on his knife, and on one of the arrows; according to some reports also on the unfinished bow. Now the route of the arrow that hit him also suggest that he was shot from below (not an easy angle). One guess is that he was pursued or ambushed when climbing up to the glacier.

The picture shows a replica of the type of flint arrowhead used by Ötzi & his enemies; the type that cut his artery. The fact that it is made of flint further suggests some purpose & premeditation. Flint heads are better for killing people that killing animals. They break easily, causing inflammation. Not good for hunting. Ötzi himself had both bone and flint arrowheads with him.

A powerful, purposeful and skillful shot from below. Maybe did not hit exactly where intended, but probably with the desired effect. And, of course, not from very far.

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