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!!








June 17, 2018

I am back  home  but I look forward to enjoying my trip a second time by sharing my postings  of the interesting places  I visited.

Leaving Penk, Austria and the wonderful time we all had at the wedding festivities  was bitter sweet but boarding the train with this incredible  landscape behind it,  how could I not  look forward to the next week?

We were on our way to Bolzano, Italy.  Bolzano is the doorway  to the Dolomite Mountains.   Dolomite is a sedimentary rock and gives these mountains  their shape and color.  This region  is bicultural  due to centuries of history – the land was  Austrian during the Hapsburg Reign and becoming  Italian after WWII.  Today all the signs and literature  are  posted in both languages.  The architecture is  mixed – some areas definitely Austrian influence, other areas Italian.

Most of Bolzano can be enjoyed  in a day but in  all directions, one can span out to  many  small towns for  sightseeing and/or  nature loving adventures.  Sit back,  relax and enjoy scenes  of Bolzano from the comfort of your own home….

Piazza Walther –  the statue honoring and the square named after a 12th century German  poet who stood up to the Holy Roman Emperor.

Also part of the Piazza Walther and the home of heavenly  pizza…

Walking down  the narrow side streets, alluring architecture is everywhere….

Along with eye catchings tidbits….

Flower stands in the market…


Wrought iron guild signs still identify shopping and eating favorites…..

Distinctively European / Italian  painted buildings…

A  plaque in the doorway  of a home is a somber reminder that a victim of WWII was taken from his home and  lost his life in Auschwitz   –   lest we  forget…..

A beautiful statue outside a 13th century  Dominican Church – art to some, a reminder to others that with prayer there is hope…..

Lastly  – a humorous modern reminder that many McDonalds in Europe sell beer – you can find it next to the salads and orange juice.

Thanks for reading!

Hope you enjoyed!!






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