Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

My new cousin

I was recently chosen as part of a project being worked on, as one of the team members to go for DNA Ancestry testing, some of you may be familiar with this from a Carte Blanche documentary broadcast not too long ago. It turns out that my most famous ancestor is none other than Oetzi the Iceman. (Heh heh)

Ötzi the Iceman(also spelled Oetzi) is the modern nickname of a well-preserved natural mummy of a man from about 3300 BC, found in 1991 in a glacier of the Ötztaler Alps, near the border between Austria and Italy. The nickname comes from the valley of discovery. It rivals Egyptian "Ginger" as the oldest known human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view on the habits of Neolithic Europeans.

At the time of his death, Ötzi was a 30-to-45-year old man, approximately 160 cm tall. Analysis of pollen and dust grains and the isotopic composition of his teeth's enamel indicate that he spent his childhood near the present village of Feldthurns, north of Bolzano, but later went to live in valleys about 50 km further north.

This is what scientists think he may have looked like. I'm happy to be able to say...errr...hmmm...there's not much of a resemblance.


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