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Otzi the Iceman as he was found. (Public Domain)

Was Otzi the Iceman a Victim of Human Sacrifice? (Video)


Otzi, the famous Iceman discovered high in the Ötztal Alps in 1991, presents a perplexing mystery in the realm of archaeology. It was long believed Otzi had been murdered, but recent investigations have shifted focus. Otzi's discovery in a liminal zone, a place where the landscape undergoes a sudden transformation, has raised questions about the possibility of human sacrifice. Throughout history, such liminal zones have been associated with offerings to vengeful deities. Otzi's position above the treeline in the icy wilderness bears eerie similarity to these sacrificial locations.

One crucial piece of evidence supporting this sacrificial theory is the remarkable copper axe found near him. Radiocarbon dating places it in 3300 BC, pushing the Copper Age back by half a millennium. Crafting such an axe demanded an incredible mastery of heat control, a skill bordering on the magical for people of that era. Francis Pryor suggests that this axe might have been a sacrificial gift to the gods, rather than the result of a vendetta, robbery, or casual killing. After all, one wouldn't simply abandon something as extraordinarily valuable as a copper axe in the aftermath of a mundane crime. Otzi's story, rooted in a unique landscape and ancient artifacts, leaves us contemplating a different narrative of his fate.

Top image: Otzi the Iceman as he was found. (Public Domain)

By Robbie Mitchell



Sorry, I don’t buy it.  This theory makes no sense at all.  The fact that he had his whole kit with him and nothing that we know of was taken, and the wounds on his hand and body, more than likely indicate a fight and turf war over resources.

Sometimes, the simpliest explanation is the correct one and no amount of scientific contrivances can change this.

This is a much more credible explanation. Human sacrifice would explain the presence of the copper axe, which otherwise would be like driving a Ferrari to a burglary and leaving it behind.

People don't like to think about things like human sacrifice. It has been a constant of the human condition for a very long time and is still very much with us today, no matter how most might like to think otherwise. A lot of trouble is gone to in order to perform such ceremonies. Climbing up high into the Alps would have been part of the religious importance of the occasion to those performing it.

Christianity gets a bad rap constantly these days. However, it was true Christianity which sent these evil practices underground, in a manner of speaking, and it is those behind such practices today that are responsible for the undeservedly bad reputation which true Christianity attracts.

There are, no doubt, quite a few who would have understood that Oetzi was a sacrificial victim all along, because they do similar things today, although usually with younger victims. If that seems an exaggeration, Halloween was just a few days ago. The Celtic day of the dead is not dead. It is very much alive.

It is the average person who is dead, in a sense. Dead, that is, to the awful truth.

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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