ROME — The Alto Adige Archaeological Museum or S¼dtiroler Arch¤ologiemuseum, centrally located in Via Museo is famous for hosting "–tzi", the Iceman, and contains all the finds in the Province of Bolzano.

To obtain an exhaustive idea of the museum’s underlying theme and acquire information on guided tours as well as visits for younger members of the public, it is well worth clicking on the website (in Italian, German and English) which has a lot of information presented in great detail.

This museum is almost always associated to the "–tzi", one of the most famous and important mummies in the world. In fact the collections at the Alto Adige Archaeological Museum is rich in finds of every kind and is chronologically organized from Palaeolithic and Mesolithic times (15,000 B.C.) to the Carolingian era.

One section presents in detail all aspects of the Iceman, with a medical and anthropological profile as well as the characteristics and meaning of the clothes and equipment he had with him when he died, all made understandable to the public thanks to many informative texts as well as video and multimedia stations.

It was a great stroke of luck to find the Similaum mummy in its entirety, preserved only because it was covered by the ice. The conservation of organic archaeological finds such as fibers, fur or skin requires specific environmental conditions.

Walking across the Alps, the Iceman carried a container made of birch bark in which he kept cinders to be used for starting fires. To ensure the container did not burn, and to keep the cinders lit, he had wrapped them in recently picked Norwegian maple leaves which served as isolating material. The extraordinary information they give us, is that these leaves tell us the time of year of –tzi’s death. The fact they still contained chlorophyll indicates that they were freshly picked and therefore it must have been between June and September. The Similaun mummy (known also –tzi and often referred to in English as the Iceman) is an archaeological find from the Otztal Alps (the Similaun glacier, at an altitude of 3,210 meters (10,531 feet), at the feet of the mountain by the same name) on the border between Italy and the Austrian Tyrol –tztal Valley (on the Italian side in the province of Bolzano) on September 19, 1991.

About The Author

Blast correspondent Luna Moltedo is an Italian art expert and journalist based in Rome

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