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Thread: The Tyrolean Iceman's tools - photos and images

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    The Tyrolean Iceman's tools - photos and images

    The "Tyrolean Iceman" is a naturally mummified body of a man thought to have lived around 5,000 years ago. He was found in the Otzal alps in 1991, around the border between Austria and Italy. He was shot by an archer in The Copper Age, and his body was subsequently preserved in ice. Alongside the discovery of the mummy was a well-preserved set of tools, including a copper axe, a chert knife, a quiver of arrows, a longbow, an antler tool, and a firelighting kit.

    Upon discovery:

    And here's a reconstruction of Otzi:

    PLOS has a good new analysis of his tools, which were extremely well-used, so much so that they had reached their "final stage of usability".

    Ötzi was not a flintknapper, but he was able to resharpen his tools with a medium to good level of skill. Wear traces reveal that he was a right-hander. Most instruments in the toolkit had reached their final stage of usability, displaying extensive usage, mostly from plant working, resharpenings and breaks. Evidently Ötzi had not had any access to chert for quite some time, which must have been problematic during his last hectic days, preventing him from repairing and integrating his weapons, in particular his arrows.
    A couple examples of the analyses:

    And here's a reconstruction of his 99.7% pure copper axe with a yew handle, thought to be made with a combination of casting and forging. High levels of copper particles in Otzi's hair suggest that he was a copper smelter.



    The Iceman's lithic toolkit: Raw material, technology, typology and useÖtzi

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    Very good. Thank you Jon.

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