Otzi Man Markings

I came across this in an article and found great images in the Daily Mail. This hunter-gatherer who died around 3000 BC had elaborate line markings on parts of his body. Some of these areas showed signs of disease as if the markings were talismans against pain.

Some pictures show the mummified gentleman, in case you’re sensitive to that. But there is a great chart of the markings and their locations in the photo gallery located in the center of the page. These markings remind me of Norse talismans, Ogham (MeghanB), and others.
Were these pain-scale markings, like 1 line for slight and 10 for maximum pain?
Were these markings to separate deities/entities or were they markings to signify different agents used to alleviate the pain?
All of the above perhaps…

Ötzi the iceman was covered in acupuncture-like marks used as a primitive painkiller | Daily Mail Online


that was an interesting article. Thanks for sharing @Wysteria_Norn :pentagram:


Wow. It’s fascinating what they can find out about ancient times nowadays. Thanks for sharing!


Nice find Johanna
What an exceptional soul. African tribes cut and apply ash to make the scars raise. But to think that some of his puncture wounds could have been acupuncture.
Although it appears he had no written language, there were some pictographs in the photo’s shown.
Again, great find.


I was struck by the markings’ similarity to Norse and Ogham. As if they were talismans to ward off pain. It occurred to me that, when cutting the skin Otzi Man may also have introduced Willow bark, etc subcutaneously before adding the charcoal.
I found this fascinating.


That is fascinating, @Wysteria_Norn- it does sound like the markings had some kind of pain-relieving/medical purpose! :star_struck:

I have to admit they reminded me first of numbers written in Japanese Kanji (which are the same as numbers written in Chinese): 一 二 三 十 (symbols for the numbers 1 2, 3, and 10) but now that you mention it, I can see a resemblance to Ogham as well (tagging @MeganB here- she’s an Ogham expert and may have more thoughts!)

Really interesting piece- thank you so much for sharing, Johanna! :heart:


This is super interesting, though I have to admit I didn’t didn’t read the entire article as I scrolled past the images. What I did see, though, seems to be a tally system for possibly keeping track of treatments? Plus sign for the area being healed maybe? Tally lines for times of treatment in the area?

I am most definitely just speculating but I don’t think it’s anything more than record keeping or an old form of religious marking :sweat_smile: I can see the resemblance to ogham but even a modern tally system may look similar to a writing system of horizontal, vertical, and perpendicular lines.

Thanks for sharing with us!