The most unique fact about the complex of archaeological finds which came to light in 1991 at the glacier's edge is the discovery of a fully-clothed, fully-equipped mummy, providing a glimpse of the clothes and technical abilities of the late Neolithic Age (3,300 to 3,100 B.C.). Prior to this, the only remnants we had of the apparel of those times were the relatively fragmentary remains found in the lake dwellings in the circum-alpine region; generally, these consisted of woven or knitted plant fibers. Animal-derived materials (furs, etc.) were absent there. Thus, the complex of "Ice Man" finds offer a snapshot of a man from Chalcolithic times who was underway in the Upper Alps. His clothing consists of a cap, a fur coat, a pair of trousers, a leather loin cloth, and a pair of lined shoes. His equipment included an unfinished bow stave, a quiver and arrow shafts, a copper hatchet, a dagger with a silex (flint) blade, a retoucheur, a birch bark container, a backpack, as well as various spare materials and bone tips.
The Presentation of the Iceman in the Museum
In awareness of fact that this archaeological find was likely to trigger heated ethical discussions, great importance was attached to a very restrained form of presentation, when the Museum was established in 1998.
The area surrounding the mummy is deliberately stark: the white-painted walls and pale flooring in particular evoke a wide-open and snow-covered landscape. The graphics and architecture do not in any way detract from the object. The discovery and recovery of the find are illustrated by video projections to complement the information panels. A discovery room at the end of the floor gives visitors the chance to try a reconstruction of the coat worn by Ötzi.
By means of partitioning of the exhibition room, the museum visitor can decide for himself if he wants to view the mummy or not. The window through which one can look at the mummy has not been "shoved" into the middle point of the entire exhibition. Instead, it has been placed in a visually separated, tastefully designed room. The 40 x 30 cm wall opening allows the museum visitor to take a look into the refrigeration chamber in which the mummy – lying on a precision scale – is conserved at a temperature of -6 °C and 98% air humidity.
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Children under 6: free (Kinder bis 6 Jahre frei)