June 24, 2018

Digging deep to solve 5,300-year-old mystery

Oct. 30, 2017


His name is Otzi, he was a Neolithic Age hunter-gatherer and his mummified body was found with an arrow in his back and a skull fracture. How did he die? DCS 6th grade students had to tap their best skills in social studies, science, English, math, teamwork, presentation, informed debate and more to solve the 5,300-year-old mysterious death.

Otzi's body was discovered frozen in the Italian Alps in 1991 by two hikers. Throughout the last two weeks of October, Duanesburg's students read, researched and debated theories about Otzi, while social studies and English teacher Spencer Falco provided daily pieces of evidence.

"The best thing was when we walked into our classroom and there was caution tape everywhere," said one student. "At first I thought it was about Halloween."

Falco, who has an interest in forensics, has used the death of Otzi to bring to life multiple disciplines for the students. Among their theories so far: Otzi was a shaman who was sacrificed, he was a victim of a hunting accident, and he was killed by someone who prized his copper axe. Will we ever know for sure what killed the Ice Man? The 6th graders are still debating.

View photos below.