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View Full Version : Is it possible to determine Otzi the iceman's original skin color, from his remains?



Nebro
10-26-2019, 01:32 PM
Is it possible to determine Otzi the iceman's original skin color, from his remains? , since it was naturally preserved.
if we can't , can we atleast categorize it ? for those who understand skin biology and structure, and the effect of decomposition or desiccation of the human skin,
can we put this skin in for example a white , or brown or black skins ?
for example it it likely that an extreme black skin would turn into this color after death in this specific case?
is it likely that an extreme white skin would turn into this color after death in this specific case ?
any hints..
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Milkyway
10-26-2019, 01:49 PM
I'm not sure if they can, but I remember that his eye color (brown) was determined by DNA testing. Before that, many paleoartists would portray him with blue eyes (https://i2.wp.com/dna-explained.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/otzi-young2.jpg).

From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96tzi#Health):

"It was also found that his epidermis, the outer skin layer, was missing, a natural process from his mummification in ice."

I don't think they can determine his skin color if the epidermis is lacking. Apparently, this is the case of most if not all mummies. In the case of Egyptian mummies, their skin color has probably little to nothing to do with the real one (think about Tutankhamun (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/photos/000/732/73217.ngsversion.1422285425387.adapt.1900.1.jpg), his mummy is gray/black).

That's all I can say. Let's see if you can get a more complete answer ;).

Nebro
10-26-2019, 01:59 PM
I'm not sure if they can, but I remember that his eye color (brown) was determined by DNA testing. Before that, many paleoartists would portray him with blue eyes (https://i2.wp.com/dna-explained.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/otzi-young2.jpg).

From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96tzi#Health):

"It was also found that his epidermis, the outer skin layer, was missing, a natural process from his mummification in ice."

I don't think they can determine his skin color if the epidermis is lacking. Apparently, this is the case of most if not all mummies. In the case of Egyptian mummies, their skin color has probably little to nothing to do with the real one (think about Tutankhamun (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/photos/000/732/73217.ngsversion.1422285425387.adapt.1900.1.jpg), his mummy is gray/black).

That's all I can say. Let's see if you can get a more complete answer ;).
thanks my questions is:
is epidermis the only layer that has hints of the skin color?
was the epidermis fully removed?
why there was a Tattoos found in his skin if the outer layer of skin was missing ?

alexfritz
10-26-2019, 02:03 PM
some markers relevant for skin tone like rs1426654 and rs16891982 were revealed in the 2012 keller et al paper; what the exact skin tone was is n.d. but he did have the derived mutations A and G resp. associated with light pigm. concerning these markers

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms1701.pdf p4
https://media.nature.com/full/nature-assets/ncomms/journal/v3/n2/extref/ncomms1701-s1.pdf p10

Milkyway
10-28-2019, 11:45 AM
thanks my questions is:
is epidermis the only layer that has hints of the skin color?
was the epidermis fully removed?
why there was a Tattoos found in his skin if the outer layer of skin was missing ?

Skin pigmentation is largerly determined by melanocytes, which are found in the epidermis:

http://sciencewithme.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/skin_11.jpg

Tattoo ink is stored in the dermis, which is the skin layer found immediately beneath the epidermis:

https://tattoosuganda.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wp-image-833202173.jpg

Nebro
12-04-2019, 12:29 AM
thank you