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Ötzi the Iceman @ Mummy Tombs

ÖTZI FACTS

ÖTZI'S MUSEUM

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His Findspot

Ötzi the Iceman was found in the Tisenjoch pass beneath the Finail Peak in northern Italy. The findspot is roughly 10,500 feet above sea level. The body was in a gully at the edge of the melting Niederjoch glacier.

Books about the discovery of Ötzi and other glacier mummies


In this protected area beneath the glacier, the ice of the glacier moved above the iceman, allowing him to stay securely in place. The glacier began to melt in the 1800s and has continued melting today. Today a monument at the site of the find has been erected.

One of the most important political questions about Ötzi at the time of his discovery was: in which country was the Iceman found? 

Austria and Italy fought a bitter battle over custody, which was resolved only when authorities confirmed that his findspot was located in Italy. That meant Italy was allowed to claim the Iceman, renovate a building to house his exhibit , and reap substantial financial rewards from tourists and documentary filmmakers. 

But the issue wasn't truly settled, because many people wondered where Ötzi came from. Was he a pre-Austrian (on his way to what is now Italy) or a pre-Italian (on his way to the area that has become Austria)? Eventual scientific studies confirmed that he was born on the Italian side of the border (a long time before there ever was a border to fight over).