By studying Ötzi's mummy, scientists can imagine what he looked like when he was alive.

The beeeer/ (ice); Andrea Solero/AFP/Getty Images (Ötzi statue); Augustin Ochsenreiter/Ansa/Shutterstock (Ötzi mummy)

A Mummy Mystery

In 1991, hikers made a shocking discovery in the snowy mountains of Italy. They found the frozen mummy of a man who had lived 5,300 years ago! Scientists nicknamed the mummy Ötzi, and they've been uncovering his secrets ever since.

Ice preserved Ötzi’s body, or kept it from falling apart. As a result, scientists have been able to learn a lot. For example, food was still in Ötzi’s stomach. Scientists say his last meal included deer meat and wheat. Medical tests show that Ötzi had heart disease and tooth decay.

Robert Clark/National Geographic/ Getty Images

“We now know more about Ötzi than about any other ancient human who ever lived,” says scientist Aaron Deter-Wolf.

One mystery scientists have solved is how Ötzi died. They found an arrowhead in his shoulder. They think an enemy shot Ötzi with the arrow from behind. But why? That’s a question that will likely stay a mystery forever!

Back to top