19 August 2016

Otzi's clothing

A study newly published in Nature's Scientific Reports uses mitochondrial DNA analysis to determine the animal sources of the various leathers in Otzi's clothing.
Results indicate that the majority of the samples originate from domestic ungulate species (cattle, sheep and goat), whose recovered haplogroups are now at high frequency in today’s domestic populations. Intriguingly, the hat and quiver samples were produced from wild species, brown bear and roe deer respectively...

The Iceman’s garments and quiver are from an assemblage of at least five different species of animal. The coat alone was a combination of at least four hides and two species: goat and sheep. This result may indicate a haphazard stitching together of clothing based upon materials that were available to the Iceman, as ancient rudimentary leather is posited to rapidly deteriorate after manufacture. However, the leggings were composed of goat leather, which was also used in the manufacture of a 4,500-year-old leggings from Schnidejoch, Switzerland. This result lends support to the idea that Copper Age individuals in the Alpine region selected species for specific attributes when manufacturing clothing. This may also indicate a functional choice of material based on flexibility or insulating potential.
Photo credit South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology/A. Ochsenreiter, via the Washington Post.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I've read 'The Man in the ice' by Konrad Spindler a few times and my take-away from it was how knowledgeable they were about the best usage for different types of wood (18 according to the website; http://www.iceman.it/en/node/286 ). good book, though dated according to more recent TV programmes.

    I wonder if goat leather is more waterproof, so better for footwear.
    cheers another phil


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...