Otzi’s in Copper Age wore a lot of leather garments: study

Last Updated: August 20, 2016
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The archaeologists have revealed how Otzi and other people in Copper Age manufactured their garments. A whole mitochondria analysis of the Tyrolean Iceman’s leather gives insights into the animal sources of Copper Age clothing, says the recent study, published in Nature. The 5,300-year-old Iceman wore a lot of leather, says the study.

According to the archaeologists’ study, which was concentrated on the mitochondria analysis of Ötzi (found in Italian Alps in 1991), his garment was made of wild species. Scientists revealed that was brown bear leather and roe deer. The mummy of Iceman from Tyrol is perfect sample of the garments of Copper Age, say the archaeologists.

A 5,300-year-old natural mummy gives a surviving example of ancient leather and fur manufacturing technologies, which are extremely interesting for biologists and genetics.

A mitochondrial genome’s analysis showed that Otzi’s clothing was made of samples originate from domestic ungulate species. These are cattle, sheep and goat, and leather of animals was combining by the ancient people, says the study. Thus, the Copper Age populations made considered choices of clothing material from both the wild and domestic populations available to them.

Otzi's wardrobe: a lot of leather, study reveals
Otzi’s wardrobe: a lot of leather, study reveals

In a study published today in Nature Scientific Reports, they discovered that some of the material came from wild animals. This is difficult to do: the material is old and has been processed so much that little of the original DNA remains.

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