Botanik & Mykologie

Remains of grasses found with the Neolithic Iceman. “Ötzi”

Acs P., Wilhalm T. & Oeggl K.

The plant remains from the discovery site of the Iceman include a large quantity of grass, from which parts of his clothing were also made. His cape consists of bundles

of Brachypodium pinnatum tied with Tilia bast fibres, and the hay used as insulating material in his shoes consists of several species, such as Avenella flexuosa, Avenula versicolor/

pubescens, Festuca spec., Nardus stricta and Brachypodium pinnatum. Most probably, these grasses were collected in subalpine matt-grass communities. Additionally,

the birch bark vessel found beside the body contained pieces of Molinia caerulea. Grass fragments were evenly distributed all over his equipment as well as in the ice of

the gully in which the Iceman was embedded. This implies that the ice in the gully thawed at least once between 3300 and 800 b.c. and the find assemblage was floating in the melt water.


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