The Iceman reconstruction and mummy
For anyone not familiar with the Ice mummy, he’s a copper age man from the Alps, about 5,300 years old. He’s too well documented on for me to bother with a full biography of him. But the more interesting points are in brief..
He had tattoos of dots and spirals, that are possibly related to the arthritis in his knee as a form of acupuncture. He also had the blood of several people on him and his gear, so he seems to have been in some kind of conflict, possibly a tribal raid. He had an arrow head lodged in him (probably the cause of death) and his position suggests that he may have been turned over so the arrow could be removed. This suggests he wasn’t alone when he died.
Close examination of his mitochondrial DNA showed mutations associated with low sperm mobility, so it’s possible he was infertile. The more interesting thing about his mt DNA is that it is a previously unseen variant of K1, and it’s quite possibly extinct in the modern European population. What’s that? Banging on about how mt DNA types can be lost? How out of character.
Luca Ermini et al.
The Tyrolean Iceman was a witness to the Neolithic–Copper Age transition in Central Europe 5350–5100 years ago, and his mummified corpse was recovered from an Alpine glacier on the Austro-Italian border in 1991 . Using a mixed sequencing procedure based on PCR amplification and 454 sequencing of pooled amplification products, we have retrieved the first complete mitochondrial-genome sequence of a prehistoric European. We have then compared it with 115 related extant lineages from mitochondrial haplogroup K. We found that the Iceman belonged to a branch of mitochondrial haplogroup K1 that has not yet been identified in modern European populations.This is the oldest complete Homo sapiens mtDNA genome generated to date. The results point to the potential significance of complete-ancient-mtDNA studies in addressing questions concerning the genetic history of human populations that the phylogeography of modern lineages is unable to tackle.