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Copy of Otzi The Iceman

A survey of the tools that he used.

Justin Adams

on 25 August 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Otzi The Iceman

Otzi The Iceman
and the technology he

Otzi is a 5'2" prehistoric man, living between 3350 to 31 B.C. He was found naturally, and almost perfectly, mummified in the Italian Alps in 1991. The discovery of Otzi along with his equipment allowed scientists a glimpse into prehistoric life for the first time.
Who is he?
Hide coat
Bearskin Cap
Belt and Pouch
Grass Cape, Mat, or Backpack
Birch-Bark Container
Stone Disc
Otzi's First Aid Kit
Quiver and Contents
Otzi's body ended up in a crevasse. Because of this, his body was not crushed during the 5'000 years of movement of the glacier. It had allowed him and his equipment to be very well preserved.
Made of long strips of sewed together goat hid. It is estimated to have been originally three feet in length.
The coat was made of alternating sections of goathide, one dark and the other light. It was worn with the fur side out. The coat had no fastener, so it is suspected that Otzi closed it with his belt. It is also unclear whether or .. not the coat had sleeves.
These are the oldest pair of leggings ever found. These leggings, again, were made from various pieces of goat hide. The leggings only went up to Otzi's thighs. Laces tied each legging to the belt. Deerskin laces were attached to the bottom of the leggings in order to tie them to the shoes.
The shoes was made with two layers. The grass netting on the inside of the shoe was used to hold hay in place. The hay acted as insulation. the outside of the shoe was made of deerskin, it would have been worn with the fur on the outside, unlike the sole. The sole of the shoe was bearskin, it also had a strip of leather going across the width of the shoe. The leather gave some traction.
Similar to Otzi's other equipment, the cap was made of various strips and pieces sewn together. The leather strips that were used to tie the cap in place were torn before his death.
Otzi's belt was originally about 6 feet long, 4 to 5 inches wide, and was made of calf leather. Leather pouches sewed onto the belt could hold a variety of things. In the belt were a few flint tools. They included a scraper, a drill, and a flint flake. A bone awl about 7.1 cm was also found. Most of the belt was filled with an ancient lighter; a tinder fungus that contained iron pyrite. When struck by flint, it produced a shower of sparks that could light kindling.
It is debated as to what the woven grass was used for. The first speculation was that it was a cape of sorts, but the mat would have been impractical had it been used like this. The mat would have made it nearly impossible to wear either under or over the quiver. Next, it was thought to
be part of Otzi's backpack. A missing container to the hazel frame found. Also, since Otzi was thought to be a sheep herder, it was thought that the grass mat would have been tied to his head and act as an umbrella. Similar to what herders today use.
Along with his clothes, the majority of his equipment was well preserved.
The axe was of made similar to axes made during 3'000 b.c., but unlike other axes, the blade was made of copper. It has been found that copper weapons are a sign of social status, mostly used as a symbol. It could still be used for practical purposed; Otzi's axe showed signs of use. A modern replica could fell a yew tree in just over a half hour.
The dagger was 13 cm's long, and the sheath just a cm shorter. A flint blade was inserted into an ash handle. The dagger would have been a coveted trade item due to it's quality.
Otzi's bow was unfinished. It was a 6 foot long stave of yew. When finished, the bow would have been acurate to hunt with from about 60-100 feet. It was also, interestingly, covered in blood. Dried blood acts as a water repellent.
The lumps on the leather strips are the sporecaps of birch polypore fungus. Up until the 20th century, fungi like this was used for medicinal purposes.
A retoucheur is a tool used in flintknapping to make the edge of a blade sharp. A fire hardened stag's antler was drilled through the wooden handle. When the tip became dull, the tool could be sharpened like a pencil.
Found next to Otzi's bow and axe was a hazel frame with two wooded planks. Due to fur and leather nearby, it is suspected that this was a backpack. A hide pouch would have been attached to the frame to hold his possessions.
Among Otzi's possessions was a crude net. This net was made of tree-bast string. It is suspected that the net was used to catch birds and rabbits.
The birch bark containers were used instead of ceramic containers; they were lighter and less fragile. On the inside of the containers was blackened, contained maple leaves and traces of charcoal. This evidence has led to the conclusion that Otzi used the containers to hold embers to start his next fire.
A disc of white Dolomite marble threaded onto a leather thong, with more leather thongs attached to it, was found among Otzi's possessions. It is unknown as to what it's true function is. It could have been used to untangle the leather in damp and cold conditions. It could also have been a simple ornament.
The quiver that Otzi had was made of chamois (a goat-antelope animal) leather. Within this container was found only two complete arrow, with a variety of
incomplete shafts. Other things were also found in the quiver. Four stag antler tips tied with bast string, a bent antler tip (a universal tools), two animal sinews, and a ball of bast string that was unsuitable for a bow string.
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