New aspects to the diet of the Neolithic Tyrolean Iceman “Ötzi“

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Three surgical interventions on the Tyrolean Iceman “Ötzi” conducted in 1995, 1997 and 2000 resulted in the collection of five ingesta samples. These samples constitute a sequence from different consecutive locations of the intestinal tract: the ileum, the transverse and descendent colon, as well as the rectum. The samples encompass at least three different meals consumed of the Iceman during his last two days, which is shown by numerical analysis of the pollen flora and muscle fibres incorporated in the different ingesta samples. The macro and pollen analyses of these samples reveal that the Iceman consumed a well balanced omnivore diet. Surprising is the strong correlation between bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) spores and human whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) eggs as well as wheat (Triticum) pollen. This indicates an intentional consumption of bracken as anthelminthic or as starch plant.

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Oeggl, K., Kofler, W., & Schmidl, A. (2005). New aspects to the diet of the Neolithic Tyrolean Iceman “Ötzi“. Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino Della Società Italiana Di Biologia Sperimentale, 80(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jbr.2005.10243