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Otzi: The Bronze Age Legend

Updated on August 5, 2014
Replicas of the clothes worn by Ötzi the Iceman.
Replicas of the clothes worn by Ötzi the Iceman. | Source

The Steets of Bolzano

Streets of Bolzano, Italy
Streets of Bolzano, Italy | Source

Iceman of the Bronze Age

While living in Italy, I once had the privilege of taking a bus tour to the town of Bolzano, a mountainous town near the border of Austria.

The winding trip through the Alto Adige was a spectacular sight to behold, but due to my anticipated fascination, the beautiful snow-capped view was nothing compared to my visit to the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.

For years, I had heard of the monumental discovery of a mummy found in the Otztal Alps of Northern Italy. Nicknamed Ozti, short for his founding origin, the bronze-age iceman, was an immediate sensation around the world. , When I heard about the impending tour, I knew there was nothing to stop me from taking advantage of such an experience.

This all day trip from my hometown of Vicenza started just after the sun came up. The drive took about four hours. By the time our tour bus arrived, it had been nearly noon, and we had a few hours to browse around town before the touring of the Tyrolean museo.

I took advantage of my free time wandering the ancient streets of Bolzano.

I eventually ended up at the local market where I found the sights and sounds absolutely enchanting. While venturing further into the bustling market den, I heard an influential mix of German and Italian accents, typical for this northern Aldige town.

I immediately took advantage of the different food vendors which hawked their German and Italian delicacies. It had been years since I lived in southern Germany, and the first thing that called to me was a helping of tangy currywurst and pommes fritz. Nor could I pass up a serving of yummy rum and raisin gelato ... never had I experienced such a simple heaven!

After a few hours of adventure, the time had finally come for the main event. Finally, I would get to see Otzi.

Utzi's Resting Place

Archeological museum of South Tyrol, Bozen
Archeological museum of South Tyrol, Bozen | Source

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

The South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology is a state of the art facility created with two viewing chambers. Just in case, if one of the chambers fail there is always another chamber is close at hand. The preservation of Otzi is a constant battle due to opposing bacteria which waits to consume the mummy's remains. The only way to combat natural decomposition is to monitor the chamber's temperature and humidity gauge which are set to a continuous -6 degrees Celsius- nearly 21.2 degrees Fahrenheit with a 98% relative humidity rate.

Not only does the museum staff physically protect Otzi's remains, but spiritually they revere him, as well. Visitors are not allowed to pass Otzi's chamber while wearing a hat nor are they to utter a sound. You are told before entering that, at one time, this ice age mummy was a living and breathing person and that he deserves all the love and respect that we allow our loved ones today. I found this act of reverence, touching, and have not forgotten the feeling of awe while viewing this man's well preserved body.

My dream to see Otzi had been fulfilled. I walked away with a smile, knowing that not many have had such a wonderful opportunity as I and that I would treasure this visit for the rest of my life.

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Reconstructing Otzi

© 2012 ziyena


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  • ziyena profile image

    ziyena 5 years ago from Southern Colorado


    When I have time I will go back and edit just for you! Thank you for your constructive critisim, it does help ... :)

  • prasadjain profile image

    Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 5 years ago from Tumkur

    This gives some information. But, as a practical visitor you could have given more important details about places to visit,Archeological monuments, history etc. that would be much useful for people like me, who- perhaps, would never visit.

  • ziyena profile image

    ziyena 5 years ago from Southern Colorado

    That's ok Bob ...

    my ex used to call me a penguin ... lol

    Little did he know that I am not!

    Guess I just needed to find the right artic fox :)

    Glad you could see me back there. It's amazing how some memories stand so vivid it's like yesterday.

  • profile image

    diogenes 5 years ago

    Poor frozen little chappie...I think i was married to his sister.

    Lovely hub, I can see you back there one day.


  • ziyena profile image

    ziyena 5 years ago from Southern Colorado

    Thanks Sam.

    Glad you enjoyed reading about Otzi.

    It was amazing!

  • sam209 profile image

    sam209 5 years ago

    Wow, that was awesome! What a wonderful excursion! Thanks for sharing this piece on the legend of Otzi! I really enjoyed it! The desserts look delicious by the way!

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