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Video Information and Comprehension Questions

Forensics: Who Killed the Iceman?

The following questions appear onscreen in the video. Feel free to integrate them into your lesson plan as needed.

Part I
Questions to consider before watching the video:
  • Discuss what you know about forensic science from reading books and watching television and movies. Describe the techniques that help scientists draw accurate conclusions.
  • As you watch the program, look for examples of how scientists apply these techniques to a prehistoric mystery.
Questions to consider after watching the video:
  • Hikers in the Alps discovered a 5,300-year-old body in 1991. Why was the Iceman's body mummified?
  • How did the scientists try to preserve the Iceman's remains while studying them?
  • How is this mummy scientifically significant?
Suggested activity
Forensic pathologists used X-ray technology to study the Iceman. Research how are X rays made and used in a hospital. What information do X rays not reveal?
Part II
Questions to consider before watching the video:
  • Why are artifacts found with a mummy as important as the mummy itself?
  • What limitations do the artifacts present in drawing conclusions about a mummy?
  • As you watch the program, take note of how scientists used the Iceman's possessions to make inferences about his life.
Questions to consider after watching the video:
  • DNA analysis of the contents of the Iceman's intestines indicated that he'd eaten ibex, red deer, cereal grains, and pollen. How did the pollen help solve the mystery of how he died?
Suggested activity
Write a fictional account of the Iceman's last day of life. Explain why he was in the Alps, how he used his tools and weapons, and why he was alone.