Since his discovery in 1991, the Iceman has provided new data from prehistoric times for countless research disciplines around the globe, both in the natural sciences and in the humanities.

For example, using the Iceman as a starting point, it has been possible to conduct research into how specific organic artefacts and present-day diseases originated, to develop new diagnostic techniques and to gain information on climatic developments. The Iceman, or “Ötzi”, as he is nicknamed locally, has helped researchers in countless fields gain insights that would otherwise have been impossible to come by. In addition, the media, as well as a large section of the general public, are particularly interested in the man’s fate, his personal history, how he lived and how he died. On this last point research, above all medical, paeleopathological and forensic research, has contributed additional details and continues to do so. This has made the Iceman a unique example of how interdisciplinary research achieves positive results.

Applications and enquiries for research on the mummy of the Iceman must be officially submitted to the management of the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.

The approval procedure must begin with a written request by the research project leader in German, Italian or English, which should be presented in the form of a project proposal. This must include precise details of the questions to be addressed and the aims of the proposal as well as the scientific procedure. A curriculum vitae will also be required.

Once the submitted project application has been checked by the management, it will be passed on to the members of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Iceman for review. The Committee’s assessment criteria are the research quality and relevance of the project, and the avoidance of risk with regard to the conservation and integrity of the mummy. The Committee’s decisions will be based on ethical considerations as well. The Museum management will also obtain an expert opinion from the Conservation Officer. The Museum can only approve research projects if a positive written appraisal has been received both from the Committee and the Conservation Officer.

The Committee and the Conservation Officer have the option of approving only part of a project. An applicant whose project has been rejected has the right to receive a written explanation and the option of submitting a revised project application for reconsideration. The Museum management will then draw up the necessary contracts with the project applicant, which will be signed by the project manager(s) and the Museum management. A research project will be regarded as completed by the Museum once the final report has been received and any samples have been returned.

Advisory Board for the Iceman

The Scientific Advisory Committee for the Iceman comprises experts from various disciplines. Its primary aim is to advise the Museum in the assessment of research project applications concerning the mummy. The Committee members are chosen and appointed by the South Tyrol Regional Government on the Museum’s recommendation. The president and vice-president are appointed by the regional government.

The Advisory Board for the Iceman periodically approves project applications relating to research on the mummy. Researchers interested in undertaking such a project should direct their enquiry to:

Advisory Board for Archaeology

The Advisory Board for Archaeology approves the Museum’s programs and project applications relating to archaeological research. This advisory board also reviews projects pertaining to the Iceman’s clothing and artefacts.

Researchers interested in undertaking such a project should direct their enquiry to:

Members of the Advisory Boards