In September 1991, two hikers exploring the Otztal Alps discovered a corpse buried in the ice.
When rescue teams collected the evidence, it became clear that these were not the unfortunate remains of a modern climber, but of a 5,300-year-old iceman.
These were arranged in groups on his left wrist, lower legs, ankles, and lower back, created using ink made from campfire soot, and may have been applied as part of therapeutic treatments for his various injuries and ailments.
While Ötzi has been popularly regarded as having the oldest tattoos, if you posed this same question to the global community of tattoo scholars you were likely to receive a different answer.
Roughly eight hours before the end, they discovered that he had consumed a meal of einkorn grain and a mix of cooked red deer and goat meat.
Here are some of the things scientists know so far about Otzi, the frozen Copper Age mummy who was discovered in 1991 in the Otzal Alps: He suffered from parasitic worms, Lyme disease, tooth decay, joint problems, and other ailments.
The bug is a pain for a lot of people, but a handy tool for scientists, who use its evolution to map the paths of ancient populations as they moved across the globe.
Modern strains of paper reconstructed the genome of Otzi’s microbe, they found it to be nearly identical to the Asian variety—meaning it shared less ancestry with the African strain than the bug carried by modern Europeans.
In total, the hunter has 61 tattoos grouped across 19 body parts.
Below are just a few of the secrets researchers have uncovered from the Iceman, his possessions and the circumstances surrounding his unusual death. This period of time is categorized as the Late Neolithic, notable for such inventions as the wheel, the rise of agriculture, mathematics and astronomy.
Scientists analyzing bone and tissue samples from Otzi discovered that he likely died somewhere between 3239-3107 B. Owing to the amazing preservative properties of ice, researchers were able to analyze a portion of Otzi's stomach and lower intestine to reveal the last meals he ate before his death.
The preservation from the ice pocket he fell into was so thorough that his brain, internal organs, penis, pubic hair and one of his eyeballs were all completely intact.
In the time since his discovery, Otzi has become a veritable celebrity of the scientific world — providing insights and blowing away assumptions about the ancient world.