The final meal of the 5,300-year-old ice mummy known as the Iceman or Oetzi was remarkably high in fat along with cereals, according to a scientific study published on Friday.
Some 40 researchers from around the globe, including Australian scientists, analyzed the well-preserved contents of his stomach – which was only discovered recently as the organ moved up during mummification.
The researchers found wild meat from ibex – a type of wild goat – and red deer and traces of toxic fern and einkorn (wild single grain) wheat, reported the Current Biology journal’s study.
Nearly half his stomach contents were fat, likely from having eaten ibex that may have been smoked before consumption as there were charcoal particles in the stomach.
The analysis indicated that the wild meat was eaten fresh or perhaps dried and the last meal was well balanced for an early man.
Oetzi had developed hardened arteries, which was discovered during a previous study of his remains, which may have been aided by a high-fat diet.
Oetzi, the oldest naturally preserved ice mummy, was discovered in the Italian Alps in 1991 by German tourists.
Previous tests on his remains revealed he was about 45 when he was murdered, with an arrowhead having pierced his left shoulder, causing him to bleed to death.
His stomach was full of food when he died, which means he probably ate shortly before being attacked.