The Significance of the discovery of the Iceman

Essay by tiramisu25489High School, 11th grade April 2005

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The Iceman was discovered on the 19th September 1991 by a German couple, Helmut and Erika Simons, who were hiking near the Austrian and Italian border in the Alps. They both had wandered slightly off trail when Erika spotted a head and shoulders sticking out of the ice, she first thought it was a discarded doll, but it was later found out to be an ancient traveler now known as the Iceman. The Iceman was quickly named Otzi, after the valley Otzhal that was north of his death site. At one glance, there really wasn't anything that special about Otzi, the significance of him was that he had become the oldest, most prehistoric and well preserved mummy in the world, not since Tutankhamen had anything stunned the world this much. After the discovery of Otzi, many questions started arising, the main focus question was- Why else was the Iceman such a significant discovery? Many issues also came up; some issues to be discussed include the ethical issues, scientific issues, and heritage issues.

The discovery was overwhelming to the scientific world and the people in the world, there were many theories and speculations to what might have happened to ice man in the last few moments of his life, theories on how old he was and who he was.

From the time of discovery to the time of examination, a lot had happened to Otzi's equipment, many people who had tried to rescue Otzi out of his icy grave, had just grabbed any nearby objects and dug at the ice, this caused a few of the artifacts to break, his 1.8 m long bow was broken, and the frame of his backpack was used as a stick and was also broken. After all the trials and errors...