Undergrad Kennedy Presents at Young Investigator Symposium

Nov. 6, 2020

On October 30, Adrianna Kennedy (Anthropology Major, graduating May 2021) presented in the Young Investigator Symposium organized by the Max Planck–Harvard Research Center for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean, held online via Zoom from Harvard University. Adrianna was one of only eighteen students (undergraduate and M.A.) from the United States and beyond to be accepted to participate. Her talk, based on research she conducted in an independent study with Associate Professor Emma Blake in Spring 2020, was titled “A Possible Correlation between Ötzi’s Tattoos and Arsenic Poisoning.” Ötzi, the famous 5000-year-old Copper Age “Ice Man” whose body was discovered in the Italian Alps, has been extensively studied. However, while reviewing the literature for the independent study, Adrianna identified a gap in the research: one study had recorded dangerously high levels of arsenic in Ötzi’s hair, yet the implications of this were unexplored. Adrianna researched the physical symptoms of arsenic poisoning and proposed that a) Ötzi would have suffered from these and b) based on their position, several of Ötzi’s tattoos may have served to treat or mitigate those symptoms. She is the first person to draw this link and make this claim.

Well done, Adrianna!

Anthro News Digest date: 11/06/2020