Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Cause of 'Iceman' Mummy death unveiled

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Archaeologists have determined the cause of death of the “Iceman” mummy, putting to rest a Neolithic cold case.

Frank Rühli of the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Zurich in Switzerland and his colleagues scanned the mummy’s body using computed tomography (CT) and found a lesion of an artery near the shoulder, underneath the clavicle bone.

The wound was caused by an arrowhead, which had previously been detected, lodged into the mummy’s back. In tissues surrounding the lesion, the scientists found a large hematoma, or bruise. By combining historic and modern data on how well one survives such a severe lesion, the scientists concluded that the Iceman died within a short time as a result of this lesion.

The arrowhead-caused injury caused the Iceman to drop dead. "It basically means [the Iceman] would bleed to death," Rühli told LiveScience.

Source : LiveScience

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