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They were made of Oetzi clothes. The clothing of the mummy genetic analysis reveals new details about the “fashion” 5,300 years ago. Some clothes elements Oetzi: from top left, clockwise, padded hay shoes, overcoat goat and sheepskin, the leggings of goatskin, the bearskin hat, the cape ( or mat) of grass, thong sheepskin. Nearly 25 years after the discovery of “Oetzi” have passed (or Ötzi), the mummified corpse discovered at the foot of Mt. Similaun, on the border between Italy and Austria. This man lived 5300 years ago on the body, and kept at the Archaeological Museum of Alto Adige in Bolzano, have been a number of studies that have revealed fascinating features of his life shows that he was just over 40, who was tattooed , which most likely he was dedicated to sheep farming and agriculture, which suffered from Helicobacter, who died for rapid bleeding after being wounded in the shoulder by an arrow.

 Today a new element is added to this fascinating portrait: the analysis of his clothing. At his death, Oetzi was wearing, among other clothing, a leather overcoat, a fur cap and straw cushioned shoes. But because of the skin’s rate of decomposition over the millennia, until now, scientists had been unable to establish exactly which animals had been used to package some of these garments. This is not an idle curiosity. Figure out if the skins of hunted animals were used on site, or if they were imported, can help us to understand if such clothes made of more or less precious material could reflect the social status of the wearer. To determine this, a group of researchers analyzed the DNA of nine samples of skin and fur taken from different garments worn by Oetzi. The results are shown in a study just published in Scientific Reports.

To begin with, the team confirmed that the thong and the overcoat of Oetzi were made of various sheep skins sewn together “by chance”, as emerged from previous research. The analysis revealed that the species of sheep used was closer, from the genetic point of view, the current European domestic sheep than its wild cousins, and to package the two items of clothing was served skin of at least four individuals .

A portion of the overcoat also consisted of skin of domestic goats belonging to a mitochondrial haplogroup (a genetic population that shares the same ancestor female) still widespread in the hills and valleys of central Europe. In short, the researchers conclude, the choices of Oetzi in clothing were quite pragmatic: to pack, and if repaired, his clothes were stitched together the skins of animals (of different kinds) of which from time to time c ‘ it was greater availability. As for the leggings, they were also made of domestic goat skin, and not a wolf, fox or dog as it was thought at first. The fact that in Switzerland have been found similar leggings, old of 6500 years suggests that this material was chosen for some of its specific qualities. Even the laces of the shoes were of stretch leather made by a domestic species, in this case of cattle, belonging to the predominant genetic population in Europe. But if Oetzi was mainly devoted to agriculture and pastoralism, is likely in its alpine environment he does not disdained hunting with bow and arrow or traps. To prove it is the analysis of his quiver – made of wild deer skin – and especially his cap, made with the fur of a black bear belonging to a genetic line still widespread in the region.

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Oetzi, incredible dresses and embroideries for that time