Otzi the Iceman
An undated handout file photo shows "Otzi", Italy's prehistoric iceman. "Otzi", Italy's prehistoric iceman, probably does not have any modern day descendants, according to a study published on October 30, 2008. A team of Italian and British scientists who sequenced his mitochondrial DNA -- which is passed down through the mother's line -- found that Otzi belonged to a genetic lineage that is either extremely rare or has died out. Otzi's 5,300-year-old corpse was found frozen in the Tyrolean Alps in 1991. Reuters

Archaeologists have found a copper blade in Switzerland that might be linked to Otzi the Iceman, reports said.

About 5,300 years ago, the iceman was hit with an arrow in the head and left to die near a mountain pass high in the Alps in Europe. He was discovered Dec. 19, 1991 by German hikers near the Italian-Austrian border.

The copper blade, which was discovered in Zug-Riedmatt village in the Alps, is said to match the ax that the iceman was carrying when he died. It is made with metal that came from present-day Tuscany in central Italy, which is hundreds of miles away from the mountains where Otzi and the new blade were discovered.

The ax found was described as an "efficient general-purpose ax, especially proper for woodworking," by Gishan Schaeren, an archaeologist with the Office for Monuments and Archaeology in the Swiss canton (or state) of Zug. Schaeren added that these axes were also useful as lethal weapons.

The blade was between 5,100 and 5,300 years old and missing a wooden handle. The ax weighed half of Otzi's blade and was shorter; but both are of the same shape.

This discovery could also lead to more clues about Copper Age connections across Europe, Live Science reported.

In the past summer, researchers said that the metal found in the Neolithic hunter’s copper axe suggested it came from Southern Tuscany. This could imply that a long-distance trade route possibly existed between central Italy and the Alps around 5,300 years ago, reportssaid.

By measuring the traces of lead in the blade, the copper in the newly found blade can be traced to the same source in Southern Tuscany.

"Mainstream research normally does not consider the possibility of intense contacts between south and north in the Alps" during this time, Schaeren told Live Science.

Since Otzi's discovery in 1991, he has been used as a reference point to study early human history. Analysis of his body revealed he was alive during the Copper Age and died a grisly death.

Otzi was 46 at the time of his death, had brown eyes, and had relatives in Sardinia.

In 2013, a report said that the iceman had 19 genetic relatives in Austria, according to National Geographic.

Otzi also had a series of health complications such as worn joints, hardened arteries, gallstones, and a nasty growth on his little toe, which could have been caused by frostbite, National Geographic reported, citing findings carried out after the iceman's discovery.

Additionally, Otzi's gut also contained the eggs of parasitic worms and he also had Lyme disease. His dental health was not fine as an in-depth dental examination found evidence of advanced gum disease and tooth decay.

His body was inked and his frozen mummy preserved a fine collection of Copper Age tattoos. In total, he had over 50 tattoos covering him from head to toe. These tattoos weren't made by inserting a needle into flesh, but by making fine cuts in the skin and then rubbing in charcoal.