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Discovered in 1991 in a melting glacier in the Ötztal Alps by the German hiker Helmut Simon, Ötzi is thought to have died at age 45 following a violent hand-to-hand encounter with one or more assailants.
He was hit by an arrowhead while being assaulted by his enemies, some of whose blood was found on the mummy's cloak and weapons.
According to Egarter Vigl, Ötzi managed to flee up the mountain until he collapsed and was entombed in the ice of the Similaun Glacier.
Probably caught in a storm at 3000 metres, Ötzi died in pain, most likely from blood loss, hunger, cold and weakness.
Ötzi the iceman, the world's oldest and best-preserved mummy, could be at risk of decomposition, according to the latest tests on the 5300-year-old mummy.
Dr Eduard Egarter Vigl, Ötzi's official caretaker, says that x-rays show suspicious grey spots on one knee.
"We noticed that these spots change aspect over time. This would indicate the formation of air or gas bubbles inside the tibia.
"And we know that gas is produced by bacteria," he said at a recent conference at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy, where the mummy is kept.
NOV 5 - 2005
The death of a molecular biologist has fuelled renewed speculation about a "curse" connected to an ancient corpse.
Tom Loy, 63, had analysed DNA found on "Oetzi", the Stone Age hunter whose remains were discovered in 1991.
Dr Loy died in unclear circumstances in Australia two weeks ago, it has been announced, making him the seventh person connected with Oetzi to die.
Colleagues and family of Dr Loy have rejected the notion that he was the victim of a "curse".
It is not known how many people have worked on the Oetzi project - and whether the death rate is statistically high.