oetzi mannausdemeis
oetzi mannausdemeis

Ötzi the Iceman

The South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano tells about the “Similaun Man”, his life and the circumstances of his death.

The body of Ötzi, the world-famous Iceman, remained around 5,300 years in the eternal ice of the Giogo di Tisa in the Ötztal Alps, a 3,208 m high pass between the Val Senales valley and the Austrian Ötztal valley. On the 19th of September 1991 finally, his body was discovered by accident. The wet mummy could be dated back to approx. 3340 B.C. - the Neolithic period - with the help of the radiocarbon dating method: At the time of his death from an injury caused by an arrow Ötzi was 46 years old and wore size 38 shoes.

“Frozen Fritz”, how Ötzi is called by the English-speaking visitors, is the most well-preserved natural mummy of his time. The world-oldest mummy, however - embalmed by a person - is the body of a child which age is estimated at 7,050 years. It was found in the Atacama desert. But back to Ötzi the legendary Iceman: After Helmut and Erika Simon from Nuremberg found the mortal remains of Ötzi in 1991, detailed measurings were required to identify the exact location of the find. Both countries - Austria and Italy - claimed to be the owners of the Hauslabjoch Mummy.

After it turned out that Ötzi was located 92.55 metres far behind the Italian border, numerous examinations were carried out in Bolzano. Experts from all over the world examined his tissue, bones and organs to learn more about his state of health, furthermore his equipment and tattoos. In 2001, X-rays revealed the cause of death: The Iceman died from an injury caused by an arrow. Since 1998, Ötzi has found his place in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. Every visitor can take a look into the special cooling chamber which features the exact conditions of the eternal ice which preserved the world-famous glacier mummy for so long.

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