Copper and Otzi the Iceman

Otzi the Iceman, a male from 3300 – 3200 BC was found with an axe blade of 99% pure copper.

Otzi the Iceman, also known as the Similaun Man, is a well-known archaeological finding that has fascinated scientists for years. Otzi is known as one of the oldest and best-preserved human remains that were found in the European Alps. His discovery was made by two hikers in 1991, deep in the Ötztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy.

The 5,300-year-old mummy was eventually uncovered in its frozen tomb at an altitude of 3,210 meters (10,500 feet.) The body of Otzi was found with his head and shoulders protruding from the ice. Due to the freezing conditions, the mummy of Otzi had been surprisingly well-preserved, presenting a unique opportunity to researchers and historians to learn more about the life and times of Otzi.

Otzi is considered a remarkable find due to the artifacts and the overall condition of the mummy. Upon examination of Otzi, researchers found that he was around 40 years old, 160 cm tall and weighed around 50 kg. He had a fully-grown beard and shoulder-length brown hair, plus he had 20 tattoos across his body which were made using small incisions and charcoal.

One of the fascinating finds discovered with Otzi was an axe blade that was made from pure copper. Experts believe that the ax blade was most likely created using a process of smelting, which is the process of extracting metal from its ore by heating it at high temperatures.

The blade of the axe is made of 99% pure copper, which is remarkable given that this was a time before the Bronze Age. The axe would have taken a considerable amount of time to create, considering that smelting was not a straightforward process. To create copper this pure, the metal would have had to have been extracted from the rocks manually, then melted down in a process that included wood fire.

Copper was a valuable resource to Otzi and his fellow communities due to its many uses. Copper was used to create tools, weapons, and even jewelry. As a result, copper quickly became a valuable commodity, especially in the European Alps, where they did not have easy access to the other necessary resources to create these items.

Researchers believe that copper was mined from the nearby areas around the Alps. Copper mining has been occurring for thousands of years in the area and was a prominent resource in the region for many years. Once the copper had been extracted, it was then smelted to create pure copper, which was then formed into various items needed for everyday life.

While Otzi’s axe has certainly drawn a lot of attention, it is not the only artifact that has been found with the mummy. Otzi was also found with a quiver of arrows, a backpack that was made from goat skin and contained various items needed for survival. It included items such as flint, a small knife, a copper awl, and a fire-starting tool.

The axe that was discovered with Otzi serves as a testament to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the people of that time. Otzi’s axe is considered an essential find as it represents the transition from the Stone Age into the Bronze Age. This finding has helped archaeologists understand the transition of manufacturing and industrializing tools and weapons to create a more efficient means of protecting and surviving.

Otzi’s legacy has been a source of fascination for scientists, archaeologists, and amateur historians alike. The copper axe blade that was discovered with Otzi is a critical piece of history that has helped to shed light on a time that was previously only known through speculations and time-honoured tales. Otzi’s example shows that the ingenuity of the human mind has been around for thousands of years and continues to progress even in the 21st century.

This article is brought to you by Sybrina Durant, the author of the middle grade picture book, Magical Elements of the Periodic Table Presented Alphabetically By The Metal Horn Unicorns. In that book and also in The Journey To Osm collection, Copper is presented by the unicorn, Cuprum. Read Cuprum’s Story.

Fun Periodic Table Themed Gifts

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