A New, Old Man
Ötzi, the 5,300-year-old mummy from the Alps, has a new face. Using a combination of forensic science and artistry, Dutch brothers Adrie and Alfons Kennis reconstructed his face for a new exhibit at the museum where his remains are housed, the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Italy.
A Copper Age Man
In 1991, hikers stumbled across Ötzi's mummified and frozen remains, along with his clothes and equipment, in the Ötztal Alps near the Italian-Austrian border. He is believed to have lived between 3350 and 3100 B.C., before Stonehenge or the pyramids of Giza were built.
A New Face
Various studies have explored how Ötzi died, what he ate and whether he has any living relatives, but one of the most frequently asked questions – what did he look like? – lingers, according to the museum.
Science and Artistry
The Kennis brothers recreated Ötzi's face based on 3D images of his skull. A photographer, Heike Engel documented the process for half a year.
A Viennese journalist coined Ötzi’s name, which is derived from the Ötztal Alps, where he was found. The site, shown above, was originally believed to be in Austria, but a survey conducted after the mummy was found revealed it was actually in South Tyrol, Italy.
Preserved by Luck
Previous research indicates Ötzi died from the lost blood caused by a wound from an arrow. But fortunately for history, he died in a protected gully, high in a cold glacier region. Snow covered his body, which remained protected from the flow of the glacier by the gully, according to the museum.
Joe Copper Age
In the time since Ötzi's discovery, researchers have gleaned bits and pieces of his identity. Ötzi’s bone tissue puts him at about 46-years-old when he died, a ripe old age for his time. He appears typical of the Copper Age in other respects as well, standing about 5 feet 3 inches (1.6 meters) tall and weighting around 110.2 pounds (50 kilograms).
Maintaining a Mummy
Ötzi's remains are kept in a refrigerated cell at the museum, which mimics the wet, cold glacial conditions that preserved his body. A unique cooling system makes it possible for the mummy to be displayed.