OTZI, THE ICE MAN, Bolzano, Italy

A model of  Otzi.

June 18, 2018

If you do nothing else in Bolzano, you must visit  the South Tirol Museum of Archaeology.  This  is the final resting place of the glacier mummy,  Otzi, the  Ice Man.   The museum  walks you through  the unbelievable story of how his frozen body was discovered high in the Otztal Valley Alps by  some hikers in 1991.  Originally he was thought to be that of a lost hiker, but,  after discovering  his pre-Bronze Age hatchet, they realized he was 5300 years old.    Otzi was almost perfectly preserved  along with some clothing and personal  effects.    You can see his  clothing  pieces and gear on display and  also view Otzi’s  still frozen corpse through a window of a cold cell that simulates glacier conditions.

Aside  from the whole  discovery, I  found it  fascinating   how  scientists  could determine that   Otzi  had  common  medical complaints such as  mild osteoarthritis,  was lactose intolerant,  his right knee was almost worn down and the lateral meniscus was damaged.  He had bad teeth,  an intestinal parasite,  atherosclerosis in the blood vessels of his necks and at the base of his skull.  His fingernails  have transverse ridges indicating his immune system was under stress before he died and possibly he had a chronic disease, not yet identified.     The scientists could also determine  there were grains and goat meat  in his stomach at the time of death.   Otzi was approximately 45 years old when he died.  It is  believed Otzi was  murdered  due to the  fresh arrow wound in  his shoulder and a brain trauma from  an impact injury to the head.  But it still is not clear if he was hit on the head or he fell.

If you are interested in learning more about Otzi, his clothing or gear,  there are many sources online, along with pictures of  his body.  Photos of the body were not allowed at the museum.

Thanks for reading!!







1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Maureen Rauscher
    Jul 02, 2018 @ 06:22:20

    Fascinating! I remember reading about this. Sounds like CSI. You find the most interesting places.



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