Skip to comments.Scientists identify 5,300 year-old sinew bowstring used by Otzi the Iceman
Posted on 01/12/2020 12:03:32 AM PST by SunkenCiv
A length of cord found alongside the body of Ötzi the Iceman, the Neolithic hunter who was discovered entombed in ice high in the Dolomites, has been identified as a string for his wooden bow.
Experts had long speculated that the two objects were connected but definitive proof has now been obtained by a team of Swiss scientists.
The cord, which was found tucked into a quiver used by the 5,300-year-old Iceman for keeping his arrows, is made of animal sinew - ideal material for producing a strong, powerful bow.
It is two metres long, almost exactly the same length as the bow that was found beside the mummified body of the hunter when he was discovered by a pair of hikers on the Schnalstal glacier in 1991...
It was previously thought the cord was made of plant material, but plant fibres "would not have withstood the tension of the bow and as such wouldn't have been suitable for a bowstring," said experts from the museum in Bolzano, in the German-speaking north of Italy.
The bowstring has been declared the oldest known and best preserved in the world.
The scientists from the Swiss National Science Foundation also discovered that the Copper Age hunter's bow had been freshly-cut from a yew tree.
It was not yet finished - they found marks left by a hatchet which would have been used to whittle and shape the wood.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
A Reconstruction Of Otzi The Iceman Credit: copyright South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology"
Here are the other GGG topics introduced since the previous Digest ping:
He looks like Zach Galifianakis.
lol it’s an ancestor.
Amazing to think of the trial and error and just plain flukes that led to the discovery and use of even primitive equipment.
Even the “if/then” reasoning that went into these creations.
“If I use this and attach it to that, it will be useful to me for this’
Obviously much more advanced things are now created but the thought process is essentially still along the same lines.
Grant Money is forever.
For Western civilization, it seems that it may have first begun in the Mideast with recording the size, composition, and ownership of herds using clay tokens sealed and fired in clay pouches to represent the number of herd animals. Eventually, to avoid having to break open the clay pouches to see what was inside as a record, symbols were inscribed on the outside to represent the contents of the pouch.
This apparently led to the realization that a flat clay tablet could be used to keep records of herds without needing to make tokens and seal them in clay pouches. In turn, that led to keeping other records, to the development of written language to do so, and to its role in the administration of city-states and kingdoms -- and eventually to posting electronic comments and messages.
Second only to the mystery of who killed Otzi, is why it took scientists almost thirty years to discover the bowstring in his quiver is a bowstring.
Thanks for posting!
Well to be fair, it could have been the garotte used to choke Epstein to death.
it took scientists almost thirty years to discover the bowstring in his quiver is a bowstring.
Its Italy...life goes slower there...
For those who want to make their own sinew bowstrings:
Dead ringer for my neighbor Ron. Probably just as resourceful.
“I am Ice Man!”
A suicide, Clinton style?
I wonder why the killer(s) didn't steal his stuff. Resources in the 10,000 foot high mountain pass would be a bit sparse. I would think they would take anything useful they could find.
If the arrow was not immediately fatal, he may have hidden and died later.
Even today with modern rifles hunters lose game animals that are only wounded, run off and die in hiding.
An adversary capable of mounting an ambush and fighting back would certainly slow the search.
Hit him with an arrow in the evening, he hides and dies, which his pursuers don't know, a little snow overnight, and looking for game at lower elevations starts to look better and better in the morning.
After a Phish concert.
I’m sure that they are correct about it being a bowstring, but their reasoning is wrong. Plant fibers make perfectly acceptable bowstrings, and were (and still are) widely used for the purpose.
Ootzi or Florida Man? You decide.
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