Bolzano-Bozen, March 27, 2020
Ötzi from home
The Iceman Knowledge Database is going online
Bolzano – The “Iceman Database” of the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology is online. Whether someone is a specialist or simply interested in learning more, people of all ages have now the possibility to consult information about Ötzi the Iceman mummy in three languages directly from home at the URL www.iceman.it/en/database. The idea of a website was developed by the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology and the EURAC Institute for Mummy Studies (both Bolzano, Italy).
The Iceman Database is a knowledge base which holds all information known to date about Ötzi the Iceman in one place. It offers both Ötzi researchers and private interested parties the chance to research the latest findings themselves, regardless of time or place.
Angelika Fleckinger, director of the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, explained the reason why the database is going online saying, “the many requests which the museum receives almost every day and an analysis of the museum’s website showed that information about the Iceman is in great demand internationally”. However, the Iceman Database is much more, “it is a reference for experts, as well as a response to the worldwide need for information – especially in a time when many schoolchildren and adults are doing research from home.”
Katharina Hersel, staff member of the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, who designed the database and has been responsible for it ever since, explained how the various queries can be answered: “For most of the more than 1,200 keywords the database offers two explanations; an academic one or one that is easier to understand. In addition, the database was planned in three languages from the beginning (German, Italian, and English) so that we could reach as wide an audience as possible.”
In addition to information about the Iceman, all sources can be looked up including academic publications as well as popular science articles. Articles can also be downloaded as long as they are the museum’s own works or those which are freely available online.
The Iceman Database contains all findings from the period 1991-1998, when Ötzi was being kept and researched at the University of Innsbruck (A), along with everything that has been studied since the glacier mummy was transferred to the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in 1998. “A lot of time and effort has gone into the Iceman Database including the knowledge of two generations of researchers, countless colleagues, and employees who helped put the database together”, Hersel summarized. Nevertheless, the database remains a dynamic system: “Naturally, work on it is far from finished because research on Ötzi is constantly progressing and we are always gaining new insights.”
Even the database program, which was designed and programmed by two IT experts from South Tyrol, is flexible and can be expanded as needed in the future or be integrated into interactive elements.
The Governor of South Tyrol and Councilor for Museums, Arno Kompatscher, hopes that many people will be interested in the database: “I am happy that the Ötzi Database is going online at a time when learners and instructors are carrying out a lot of their work from home and hope that all who are eager to learn will have fun gaining new knowledge.”
Link to the Iceman Database
Sceenshot Iceman Database © South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
Visitors at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology (c) South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology / Flipflop Collective
See further images of the Museum and the Iceman
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South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
Via Museo / Museumstr. 43, I-39100 Bolzano/Bozen, Italy
phone 0471 320114