Otzi The Iceman Reveals Evidence Of Prehistoric Specialized Jobs

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By ROBERT SCALLY — It was the dawn of work and jobs as we now know them. During Otzi the iceman’s time about 5,300 years ago, specialized jobs were beginning to emerge as civilization moved from nomadic hunting and gathering to living in settlements and farming.

Otzi the iceman lived during the Copper Age, and there is plenty of archeological evidence of specialized metalworkers.

Scientific analysis has shown that Otazi the iceman was a shepherd herding goats, sheep and cows.

Otzi the iceman's shoes were crafted by a cobbler.
Otzi the iceman’s shoes were crafted by a cobbler.

The iceman’s possession of a finely crafted copper axe, his blackened lungs and traces of copper found in his hair hint he may have moonlighted in the copper business.

However, it was some of the other items found with Otzi reveal his community had specialized workers.

A 2009 CAT scan of his stomach and intestines found provides more clues about specialized work in Utzi time.

Otzi ate unleavened bread shortly before his death.

Bred baked with highly milled einkorn wheat bran suggests someone other than Otzi the shepherd grew grain and milled it into flour for baking.

Cobbler Was An Early Specialized Job

But it is Otzi the iceman’s shoes show someone akin to a cobbler worked in his community.

A Czech academic, Petr Hlavacek, a footwear expert from Tomas Bata University in Zlin, reproduced the iceman’s shoes in 2005.

The reproductions turned out to be excellent footwear.

Hlavacek said that the iceman’s boots were “like going barefoot, only better.”

“They are very comfortable and perfect protection against hard terrain, hot temperatures and the cold,” he told The London Daily Telegraph.

“They may not look very attractive but from a technical point of view they are very strong,” Hlavacek says. “They have a very good grip and withstand shock well.

“I’m convinced that even 5,300 years ago people had the equivalent of a cobbler who made shoes for other people”.

See also:

Did Someone Murder Otzi The Iceman On The Job?

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