Oldest Human Blood Cells Found in Prehistoric Caveman

News

/ May 3, 2012

Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest blood cells in the remains of a prehistoric iceman.

The ancient human is said to have lived over 5,300 years ago in the Alps and was found in a frozen glacier. Scientists have named the man “Otzi.” They believe he died from a laceration from an arrow to his right hand.

Studies on his tissue taken from the arrow wound turned up the oldest documented blood cells..

“They really looked similar to modern-day blood samples,” said Professor Albert Zink, 46, the German head of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Academy in Bolzano, the capital of Italy’s German-speaking Alto-Adige region.

“So far, this is the clearest evidence of the oldest blood cells,” he said by telephone, adding that the new technique might now be used to examine mummies from Egypt.