Iceman’s garb included bearskin hat, patchwork pants made from goat, sheep hides
A. Ochsenreiter/South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Institute for Mummies and the Iceman
Ötzi had Copper Age style.
The 5,300-year-old Tyrolean Iceman, whose body was found poking out of a glacier in the Italian Alps in 1991, incorporated hides from at least five domesticated and wild animal species into his apparel, a new genetic study finds. Comparing mitochondrial DNA extracted from nine ancient leather fragments with DNA of living animals revealed the makeup of Ötzi’s clothes and a key accessory, says a team led by paleogeneticist Niall O’Sullivan. Mitochondrial DNA typically gets passed from mothers to their offspring.
Little is known about what people wore during Ötzi’s time. The findings provide a glimpse into how ancient European populations exploited domesticated animals to make clothes and other items.