Ice Man

11:32:00 PM Brooke Neal 0 Comments

On our way home from Venice I was reading our guide book and happened to discover the little town we were about to pass through is home to a very significant archaeological find; Otzi, the 5000 year old man preserved in ice.

The Details
South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
AddressVia Museo, 43, 39100 Bolzano South Tyrol, Italy
HoursTuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm  Closed on Mondays (except on holidays)
In July, August and December open daily also on Monday
Cost: 9e adults, 7e youth, free under 6
He was discovered in 1991 by German hikers. Apparently, it is not uncommon to find corpses in this region of the Alps, 6 bodies were discovered that year alone, so when the report came in there was no cause for "special" measures to be taken. The authorities began hacking away at the ice, but in doing so severely damaged Otzi's left side. It wasn't until day 2 when his stone age ax was found that authorities began to suspect he was more than a few decades old.


We never would have traveled out of our way to see Otzi, but when I told Bob we were about to drive past the town where he now resides, Bob was determined we stop.
Long story short, Otzi, his clothing and tools were perfectly preserved in the ice and because he was "wet preserved" his skin was even pliable. Of course, there was an international bru-ha-ha over his discovery and scientists from all over Europe vied for a chance to study him. He now has a museum dedicated in his honor in Bolzano, Italy.
The whole exhibit is really impressive--to see the bow he was making, the arrows with arrow heads attached, his bag of tools, his clothing and shoes--all of it was really cool! He was even tattooed! I remember when the story broke back in 1991; Bob and I were studying Anthropology at BYU. To see this discovery almost 20 years later was memorable!
Consequently, one of the hikers who found Otzi died in the very mountains where the discovery was made. He slipped and fell about 100 feet and was killed instantly.  Bottom dollar, this museum is worth a visit!  

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