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How to get Ötzi’s look

Iceman’s garb included bearskin hat, patchwork pants made from goat, sheep hides

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9:00am, August 18, 2016
Otzi's garments

FASHION BACKWARD  Genetic evidence indicates that Ötzi the Iceman (an artist’s reconstruction, left) wore a brown-bear cap (top center) and a coat made of goat and sheep skins (bottom center). The Copper Age man’s leggings (right) also consisted of goat skin, researchers say.

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.

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