5300-year-old mummy produces world's oldest blood test

Oetzi the Iceman - first discovered in an Italian glacier in 1991 - has produced the oldest blood sample ever found. Photo / South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
Oetzi the Iceman - first discovered in an Italian glacier in 1991 - has produced the oldest blood sample ever found. Photo / South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Scientists have discovered what is thought to be the oldest human blood ever to be found - on the body of a 5300-year-old mummy.

Traces were found on the preserved body of Oetzi the Iceman, first discovered in an Italian glacier in 1991.

A team at the Darmstadt Technical University, in Germany, used a high-tech microscope to investigate thin tissue sections from the wound where the arrow thought to have killed Oetzi, at the age of 46, entered his back, and from a laceration on his right hand.

Professor Albert Zink, of the European Academy in Bolzano, Italy, who led the investigation, said: "What emerged was an image of red blood cells with the classic 'doughnut shape', exactly as we find them in healthy people today."

- DAILY MAIL

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