Bolzano-Bozen, July 12, 2022

Australian delegation visits Ötzi the Iceman


Bolzano – Last Monday (yesterday) a delegation from Willandra National Park in Australia visited the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology and the archeoParc in Schnalstal/Val Senales. Seven experts in anthropology and archaeology as well as representatives of Aboriginal groups from Willandra National Park and the Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation learned about the practices used in preserving and researching the “Iceman” find.

The Willandra National Park in Australia is known for its numerous fossil skeletons which are believed to be the oldest known burials in the world dating back to 42,000 years ago. (The most well preserved among them are “Mungo Man” and “Mungo Lady”.) The unique site where they were found was therefore declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Plans are now underway to create a storage facility for the fossils. Aboriginal delegates and anthropologists are working closely together to propose an appropriate repository to the government. After discussing the project at the World Archaeology Congress in Prague, the delegation took the opportunity to visit the Archaeology Museum in Bolzano, the archeoParc in Schnalstal/Val Senales, and the EURAC Institute for Mummy Studies. These South Tyrolean institutions house the famous Iceman and his belongings, research them, and classify them in their cultural and geographical context.

All delegates – including Wolfgang Müller (now Goethe University Frankfurt) who had performed his Iceman research in Australia and who had liaised with and joined the group for the day – had a very positive impression of the measures being taken to preserve the Iceman for future research as well as the culturally-sensitive handling of the mummy in terms of presentation and communication.


Informative visit with Ötzi: A delegation of anthropologists, archaeologists, and representatives from Aboriginal groups of the Willandra National Park
Image 1 & 2: © South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
Image 3: © ArcheoParc Schnals-Senales / Daniela Brugger

Images may be used free of charge for press purposes.


Katharina Hersel
South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
Via Museo / Museumstr. 43, I-39100 Bolzano/Bozen, Italy
phone +39 0471 320114,
Facebook: OetziTheIceman

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