It’s been discovered that Ötzi the Iceman, the 5300 year-old mummy found in Austrian Alps in the early 90s, has 19 confirmed living relatives.
It’s been discovered that Ötzi the Iceman, the 5300 year-old body found in Austrian Alps in the early 90s, has 19 confirmed living relatives.
There could be more out there, residing all over world, but so far scientists have only searched one database of Austrian blood donors.
Among the 3700 samples in the database, they specifically looked for individuals who shared one specific marker with the Iceman.
It seems that in addition to Otzi’s many health issues like lactose intolerance, Lyme disease, and heart problems, he had a rare chromosomal anomaly.
The mutation exists on the Y chromosome, making only male lineage searches possible.
For the scientists' purposes, though, that’s probably enough.
Their goal is to trace migratory patterns throughout the Alps to gain a better understanding of how people got to places and when they moved to them.
They expect to find that many more of Otzi’s surviving kin are currently living in the Swiss and Italian Alpine regions. That search should be starting soon, as the parameters have been set.
As far as informing the surviving family members that their ancestor is a famous mummy, the team hasn’t gotten around to that yet.