“We now have access to the complete genetic profile of this world famous mummy. As a result the path is clear for an imminent solution to many of the puzzles surrounding the Iceman,” the Bolzano-based European Academy (Eurac) said in a statement.
Nicknamed Oetzi, the 5 000-year-old mummy is housed in the South Tyrol Archaeology Museum in Bolzano. He is believed to have died aged 46 after being shot with an arrow.
Scientists from Eurac, the University of Tbingen and experts in bioinformatics at Heidelberg, Germany, used the latest technologies to study Oetzi’s DNA – a process that began with the extraction of a bone sample from the pelvis of the ice mummy.
“It was a sensationally fast result,” Albert Zink, head of Eurac’s Institute for Mummies and the Iceman, told the German Press Agency. The process had been completed in two to three months when in the past “years” were required for such genome studies, Zink said.
The scientists now aim to process the “enormous quantity” of bio-data which has become available to them.