Radiocarbon dating of the iceman
For a 2nd sample complex, we studied logs from the beginning of salt mining in the world's oldest salt mines at Hallstatt in Upper Austria.C AMS measurements were performed in Vienna on spruce samples found in the prehistoric mines and from a log-house on the surface.‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.(This technique measures the amount of carbon-14 in a dead organism, compares it to the carbon-14 levels in the atmosphere today and gives an estimate of when the organism died.) Ötzi has been studied for more than two decades.His clothes and tools have been extensively radiocarbon dated, and much is known about his health, environment, death and his tattoos—which may be therapeutic; they are grouped in places where Ötzi suffered from joint and spinal degeneration.
During their work, the researchers found an apparent misreading of the Chinchorro mummy’s radiocarbon dating.
Although Ötzi is the oldest tattooed human, the paper’s authors conclude this will likely change: Ötzi’s tattoos are indicative of social and/or therapeutic practices that predate him, and future archaeological finds and new techniques should someday lead to even older evidence of tattooed mummies.
“Apart from the historical implications of our paper, we shouldn’t forget the cultural roles tattoos have played over millennia,” Krutak says.
Data evaluation included “wiggle matching” of different sets of tree rings.
The results suggest that salt mining in the Hallstatt region took place in the 14th–13th century BC, well before the so-called Hallstatt period.
All the dates, except 2, are consistent with the time period 3360–3100 BC, as previously determined from bone and tissue samples from the Iceman himself.