Researchers have revealed what was the last meal of Ötzi the Iceman, the oldest person ever discovered.
Ötzi the Iceman's Last Meal
Researchers found that hours before he died, the Iceman's last meal wasn't a good one. The ancient man, which was found in 1991 in the Alps, indulged in a fatty meat of wild goat and red deer. They noted, however, that these high-fat diets perfectly suited the demands of the life in the high-Alpine region where the Iceman was located.
The scientists claimed that this new discovery is remarkable even though this diet was a "trendy choice" for human ancestors. Dr. Frank Maxiner stated that this new information is crucially important to understand what the human ancestors were eating at the time and help compare what they found with modern-day diets.
Dr. Maxiner continued that compared to the current meals humans eat at present, the Iceman's last meal was less processed and that could have influenced his gut microbiome composition and the physiology. Prior to this discovery, the Iceman's stomach continents had been hard to achieve because it was in a difficult position.
Breaking Down Ötzi's Stomach
Researchers state that the Iceman's stomach had shifted during the mummification process and in 2009, it was spotted by using CT scans. To better analyze the contents in his gut, scientists from the Eurac Research Institute for Mummy Studies in Bolzano, Italy examined the stomach's remains.
"The stomach material was, compared to previously analyzed lower intestine samples, extraordinarily well preserved, and it also contained large amounts of unique biomolecules such as lipids, which opened new methodological opportunities to address our questions about Ötzi's diet," Dr. Frank Maxiner said.
"Ötzi's last meal was a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids - perfectly suited to the demands of life in the high-Alpine region," Dr. Maxiner further revealed.
Scientists also found that the Iceman died at the age of 45. He was 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighed about 110 pounds. The researches state Ötzi was murdered by an arrow that severed a major blood vessel between his rib cage and his left shoulder blade.
The scientists also discovered that Ötzi had an ulcer, which included bacteria and he could have suffered from bad stomach aches. They also recreated the Iceman's vocal chords, mouth, and throat, which allowed them to digitally produce how Ötzi's vowels may have sounded.