Prehistoric iceman liked to eat goats

Steve Connor
Wednesday 21 July 1999 23:02

THE PREHISTORIC iceman found in the Alps in 1991 was a meat- eater and not a vegan, as previous research suggested.

Scientists have found slivers of meat in his intestines and remains of plant material, proving he was omnivorous, said Jim Dickson, an archaeobotanist at Glasgow University.

The iceman's most likely quarry was ibex, a goat that would have roamed the hills at the time he lived 5,300 years ago. His well-preserved corpse was found by hill walkers who originally thought he was a modern person who had died recently. American scientists analysed his hair for nitrogen isotopes and concluded that the composition was identical to the hair of modern-day people who follow a vegan diet.

The man, believed to have been about 45, probably spent much of his time shepherding animals and died after he was caught in a snow storm.

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