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An Eyeful of Otzi

Monday, November 25, 2013 - 05:05 PM

The oldest dead body ever found is startlingly well-preserved. The roughly 5300-year-old corpse still has skin, guts, fingernails, teeth... all thanks to a serendipitous natural freeze-drying process that turned a man now known as Ötzi into a mummy high up in the Italian Alps (you can hear all about the Iceman our short An Ice-Cold Case).

The South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, which houses Ötzi, has some stunning close-ups which they've allowed us post here -- enjoy!


Ötzi's right hand, which scientists realized shows a self-defense wound from the Iceman's final days:

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

The back of Ötzi's skull, which is believed to have been bashed in by his attackers:

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

The face of a man who walked the earth over 700 years before the Pyramids were built in Giza:

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Based on all the clues contained in the Iceman's corpse (as well as his surviving clothes and tools), it's possible to imagine what he might have looked like before he died:

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Want to get a REALLY close look at Ötzi? Check out these zoomable, high res images


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Comments [5]

Floor Kulker from Netherlands

I just listend to the podcast, and I wondered if there has ever been any discussion on whether or not we are allowed to use and display his body the way we do?

Nov. 05 2015 04:02 AM
Carol Ann Rice Rafferty from Jacksonville, Florida

I downloaded Otzi image of representation on my computer. I asked my husband who this pic reminded him. He of course mentioned my brother. I did DNA tracing with saliva testing last year and not surprisingly my family of origin walked this area. I see strong family images in his face too.

Thank you for this program.

Sep. 29 2015 03:08 PM
Wendy from Seattle

My 5-year-old son is absolutely obsessed with Otzi. We've listened to the podcast 10 times in the last week! Thanks, Radiolab for always being so wonderful!

Dec. 24 2013 10:58 PM
Anya Hawkins from Ca

How can I get a link to the recording?

Dec. 13 2013 01:11 AM
Laura from Maine

We were lucky to visit the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in 2012 with our two boys. They were fascinated, and the museum does an amazing job of telling the story of our ancient ancestor. Their favorite part was peeking through the tiny window into his temperature controlled home to see his dried out and shriveled up body. We loved the "CSI" style exhibit, where they examine the X-rays and remains to see how he died. An ancient murder mystery!
As always, we're big fans of Radio Lab! Cheers

Nov. 25 2013 08:34 PM

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