View all news

An evening with Ötzi the iceman

Press release issued: 11 November 2002

Media release
An evening with Otzi the iceman

How did Ötzi the Iceman die? Did he bleed to death from the wound in his shoulder, or was it from cold and hunger? On Thursday November 14, archaeological experts will come together to debate this intriguing question. Among the speakers will be Professor Annaluisa Pedrotti, the archaeologist from the team working on Ötzi, and Dr Franco Nicolis, a specialist on the Copper Age in Northern Italy.

The sensational discover of Ötzi the Iceman was made by two hikers in 1991 when they found a body embedded in the melting ice of the Schnalstal glacier, high in the Italian Alps. He was still wearing goatskin leggings and a grass cape. His copper-headed axe and a quiver full of arrows were lying nearby. Back in the lab, radiocarbon dating revealed the body to be more than 5,000 years old.

Overnight, Ötzi became an archaeological sensation, providing a unique snapshot of someone who lived in the Alps around the time when humans were switching from stone to metal tools. His copper axe is the only one ever found with all its fixings in place and the preservation of other artefacts is unparalleled.

Andrew Winter, President of Bristol University's Archaeological Society, said: "There has been much speculation as to how Ötzi died. Years of examination and x-rays had not come up with an answer until, in June last year, an Italian radiologist at the local hospital saw what everyone else had missed - there was a flint arrow head embedded in Ötzi's shoulder. But how had it got there and was it that that killed him?"

Archaeologists from Bristol University are putting on an evening of talks about Ötzi the Iceman. They and their colleagues from Oxford, Birmingham and Trento in Italy will present an overview of this remarkable find and debate the reasons why Ötzi died. The talks, which are open to the public and aimed at a non-specialist audience, will be held in the Tyndall Lecture Theatre, Department of Physics, Tyndall Avenue. They start at 4 pm and will be followed by a wine reception around 7.30 pm. Admission is £5 on the door, concessions £2.50. Latecomers welcome. For further information call 0117 954 6060.

The full programme is as follows:

Thursday November 14 at 4 pm, Tyndall Lecture Theatre, H H Wills Physics Laboratory, Bristol University, Tyndall Avenue. Admission £5 on the door, concessions £2.50.

4 pm
Professor Dr Annaluisa Pedrotti (Trento) and Professor Lawrence Barfield (Birmingham)
The Iceman: Who, What, Where, When …

4.30 pm
Dr Paul Pettitt (Bristol) and Professor Robert Hedges (Oxford)
Radiocarbon Dating of the Iceman

5 pm
Professor Richard Harrison (Bristol)
The Iceman and the Transformation of Europe

6 pm
Dr Franco Nicolis (Trento) and Dr Volker Heyd (Bristol)
His Journey Through the Mountains: The Copper Age North and South of the Alps

6.45 pm
Professor Dr Annaluisa Pedrotti (Trento)
Current Research on the Iceman's Archaeology

Back to archive

Copyright: 2002 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Monday, 11-Nov-2002 12:52:00 GMT

Edit this page