A look at the research work
The Iceman provides a unique window on the past. Never before has such an ancient and well-preserved frozen Neolithic mummy been found.
Since his discovery in 1991, the Iceman has provided new data from prehistoric times for countless research disciplines around the globe, both in the natural sciences and in the humanities. For example, using the Iceman as a starting point, it has been possible to conduct research into how specific organic artefacts and present-day diseases originated, to develop new diagnostic techniques and to gain information on climatic developments.
The Iceman, or “Ötzi”, as he is nicknamed locally, has helped researchers in countless fields gain insights that would otherwise have been impossible to come by. In addition, the media, as well as a large section of the general public, are particularly interested in the man’s fate, his personal history, how he lived and how he died. On this last point research, above all medical, paeleopathological and forensic research, has contributed additional details and continues to do so. This has made the Iceman a unique example of how interdisciplinary research achieves positive results.
Nobody knows exactly how many research teams around the world have addressed this phenomenon to date. Scientific publications on samples taken from tissue and the find site have, in turn, triggered further investigations or prompted new avenues of enquiry. The EURAC Institute for Mummies and the Iceman endeavours to keep abreast of ongoing investigations and their findings at all times.