The oldest human blood cells have been found in a well preserved iceman mummy. The remains of "Otzi," who hails from Italy, had the oldest traces of human blood ever found.
"Otzi" roamed the Alps more than 5,000 years ago, and it is astonishing that this iceman's blood has survived long enough for researchers to be able to examine the blood cells. The 45-year-old had type-O blood, which might not be so astonishing considering it is still such a common blood type.
The blood cells were found in a wound the iceman had in his right hand. Professor Albert Zink, who examined the cells, said, "They really looked similar to modern-day blood samples. So far, this is the clearest evidence of the oldest blood cells."
Now that researchers have had success, they may be able to use the technique to reexamine mummys from Egypt to find new oldest human blood cells. The iceman was in good health according to his blood samples, which had round cells that healthy people today still have.
In addition to learning more about ancient people, this advance can also be used to help solve crimes and determine the age of blood stains found as evidence. Isn't that amazing?