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What Was Oetzi The Iceman Wearing?
We now know exactly what the Iceman was clothed in, when he died 5,200 years ago (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 345)
Aug 23, 2016 History

He died 5,200 years ago on a glacier, high in the mountains of the Italian Alps. Shot in the shoulder with an arrow, Oetzi (nicknamed "the Iceman") died a violent death. Since his mummified body was found 25 years ago, scientists have learned much about him from his remains. He was brown-eyed and gap-toothed and his body was covered in tattoos. Aged between forty and fifty years at the time of his death, he had probably spent most of his life as a farmer, but got extra food and materials from hunting.

During those 25 years following Oetzi's find, we have learned much about the Iceman, but it is only recently that scientific advances have made it possible to know exactly what he was wearing. We knew that he had on a leather coat, skin leggings, a fur hat, and wore shoes stuffed with straw, presumably to keep his feet warm. But because leather and fur decay after 5,000 years we have been unable to work out exactly which animal skins made up Oetzi's wardrobe.

Scientists know from earlier experiments that he added to his food supply by hunting food in the wild. His last meal was made up of ibex and red deer. Now the researchers have shown that he used wild animals for their leather and not just as food. He also used skins from domestic animals like sheep and goats.

In fact, the researcher's studies have shown that Oetzi had

  • leggings made from goat skin
  • a shoelace of cow leather
  • a sheepskin loincloth
  • a quiver for his arrows made of roe deer
  • a fur hat, with straps, made from brown bear
  • a coat of many pieces, using both sheep and goat skin

The sheep and goat skins were from domestic animals, similar to ones still seen in the hills of Europe today. The researchers say this points to people carefully picking from wild and farmed animals when looking for materials to make their clothes.

How did Oetzi die?
A bear ate him
He was shot with an arrow
He fell off a cliff
None of the above
Which material did Oetzi NOT use for clothing?
Where did Oetzi live?
Middle East
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ahead of time, before something happens



equipped with or carrying a weapon or weapons



something built by hand



inside a country, tame, not wild



something a scientist does to test an idea



special areas to click on to see more



tight-fitting stretch pants worn by women and children



the matter from which things can be made



wrapping a body to keep it dry after death



a friendly or funny name given to people or things



very likely, though not known for certain



not long ago



not long ago



looking for knowledge



person who searches for knowledge



based on the methods and principles of science



experts in science, people who study science



the clothing department