The true appearance of Ötzi the Iceman, a man who lived between 3350 and 3120 B.C., has been revealed, according to a new study.
Ötzi most likely had darker skin and eyes, and no hair, according to the study. The researchers’ breakthrough was found after extracting genetic material from the corpse’s pelvis. The findings contradict the traditional renderings of the mummy, which depict him with pale skin and hair. (RELATED: Archaeologists Discover Mummy With Golden Tongue In Taposiris Magna Temple)
“It was previously believed that his skin has darkened during the mummification process,” Albert Zink, head of the Institute for Mummy Studies at Eurac Research, told CNN.
Iceman Ötzi’s true appearance revealed by new DNA analysis https://t.co/ZyrxFXPD9x
— Newshub (@NewshubNZ) August 16, 2023
“It seems that the dark skin color of the mummy is quite close to the Iceman’s skin color during (his) lifetime,” Zink added.
Early Europeans initially had darker skin which lightened in response to environmental pressures and diet, Zink told CNN. “Early European farmers still had a quite dark skin, that changed with time to a lighter skin, as an adaption to the changes in climate and diet of the farmers. Farmers consume much less vitamin D in their diet compared to hunter-gatherers,” he said.
“It seems that the Iceman still consumed quite a lot of meat, that was also confirmed by our analysis of his stomach showing the presence of ibex and deer meat,” Zink added.
The study indicates that the initial depiction of the ancient man was likely the result of contamination from human DNA, CNN reported.
“The advancement in sequencing technologies allowed us to generate a high coverage genome of the Iceman. This allowed us to obtain more accurate results,” Zink said.