Why did Ötzi Remain Intact?
It was thanks to an incredible chain of coincidences:
1. He must have been covered by snow shortly after his death and later by ice. Only in this way could the body have been protected from predators and decomposition.
Whether the mummy ever resurfaced again in the course of several thousand years cannot be determined with certainty. Paeleoclimatic data show that warm phases occurred in the second half of the third century BC and during the Roman period. During these phases the ice in the gully may have melted.
2. The deep gully, which runs perpendicular to the direction of flow of the glacier, prevented the body and implements from being ground up by the base of the glacier. The enormous mass of ice flowed over the gully, leaving the scene of the find unscathed.
3. The find was exposed to damaging sunlight, wind and weather only for a short period in 1991 between the time the mummy thawed and the time it was recovered.