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Ötzi the Iceman’s last meal

Researchers have tested the contents of Ötzi the Iceman’s stomach, discovering what his last meal was.

Scientists previously analyzed the contents of Ötzi’s lower intestine and determined that he ate a meal of grains along with possibly cooked red deer and goat meat up to 30 hours before his death.

But attempts using an endoscopic tool to sample Ötzi’s stomach were unsuccessful.

The reason for the failure became clear in 2009, when scientists studying CAT scans of Ötzi discovered that the Iceman’s stomach had shifted upward after death, to where the lower part of his lungs would normally be.

“Why it moved upward, we don’t know,” said Frank Maixner, a microbiologist at the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Italy, who was involved in the new investigation.

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Story: Ker Than, National Geographic | Photo: Vienna Report Agency/Sygma/Corbis

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