Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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At the Museums: Ötzi's New Home Volume 52 Number 1, January/February 1999
by Paul G. Bahn

[image] Bolzano's new Museo Archeologico dell'Alto Adige is housed in a former bank. (Josef Pernter) [LARGER IMAGE]

Few finds in recent years have so captured the public imagination as the 1991 discovery of the frozen body of a man about 35 years old, who died more than 5,000 years ago apparently while hunting in the Alps. Along with his well-preserved remains, archaeologists recovered his clothes, shoes, and tools (see "Last Days of the Iceman," May/June 1995). After eight years of conservation and wrangling over ownership and disposition, Ötzi, as the Iceman is known, is now on exhibit at the new Museo Archeologico dell'Alto Adige in Bolzano, Italy, not far from where he was found. An exemplary presentation, it does him justice, placing him in the context of Alpine archaeology without the slightest sensationalism. In Bolzano, however, merchants have used Ötzi to market everything from wine, to ice tea (see "Icemania," online).

* Click here for ARCHAEOLOGY's list of current exhibitions.

Paul G. Bahn is a contributing editor to ARCHAEOLOGY. The author would like to thank Stefania Casini for her invaluable help in organizing his visit to Bolzano.

© 1999 by the Archaeological Institute of America