Main content

intro image

Where did Ötzi live?

The origin of his flint, the typology of his axe blade, the types of wood used in his equipment and the pollen in his digestive tract all indicate that Ötzi must have lived somewhere south of the Alpine mountain chain.

Analysis of the isotopic composition of Ötzi’s tooth enamel and bones provides even more precise information. Humans absorb various isotopes (variants of the same chemical element) with their food, which are then stored in the body. The result is that the isotopic composition of human remains depends on the geological area. 

These analyses have shown that Ötzi probably spent his childhood in the upper Eisack Valley or the lower Puster Valley. He had evidently lived at least ten years in the Vinschgau prior to his death.

Archaeological excavations on the castle hill of Schloss Juval in the Vinschgau at the entrance to the Schnals Valley have unearthed the remains of a Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement. Could this have been Ötzi’s home?