Link to Oetzi the Iceman found in living Austrians

Sampling the body of Oetzi (Samadelli Marco/EURAC) Oetzi's genome was published in February, indicating his probable eye colour and blood type

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Austrian scientists have found that 19 Tyrolean men alive today are related to Oetzi the Iceman, whose 5,300-year-old frozen body was found in the Alps.

Their relationship was established through DNA analysis by scientists from the Institute of Legal Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University.

The men have not been told about their connection to Oetzi. The DNA tests were taken from blood donors in Tyrol.

A particular genetic mutation was matched, the APA news agency reports.

Oetzi's body was found frozen in the Italian Alps in 1991.

Oetzi reconstruction (South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology/EURAC/Marco Samadelli-Gregor Staschitz) A reconstruction shows what Oetzi may have looked like before an arrow felled him

Walther Parson from the Institute told APA, the Austrian Press Agency, that the same mutation might be found in the nearby Swiss region of Engadine and in Italy's South Tyrol region.

"We have already found Swiss and Italian partners so that we can pursue our research," he said.

He was quoted as saying DNA had been analysed from 3,700 men who had given blood donations in Tyrol. They also provided data on their ancestry.

Women were not included in the study, as a different procedure would be required to match their genes.

Since Oetzi was first found by hikers with an arrow buried in his back, experts have determined that he died from his wounds. There has been extensive debate as to whether he fell where he died or was buried there by others.

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