01. Global Prehistory, Art & Humanities, Europe, Italy, Travel

Student Series! Ötzi the Outlaw

Student Series! Ötzi the Outlaw

If you have yet to discover the amazing story of the man who actually was frozen in time, you are missing out on something big! Ötzi is known as an accidental mummy due to the fact he was never mummified in the traditional way everyone is familiar with that the ancient Egyptians used. Instead he was actually mummified by the snow and ice at the time he died which ended up preserving his body for all of the years to come.


Ötzi lived between 3300 and 3200 B.C.E. in the time period known as the Copper Age. How he ended up in the mountains to begin with has everyone baffled. Even the top archeologists can’t seem to come up with a reason why he was up in the mountains to begin with, but there is one theory that they have came up with that I support and believe it could be the only possible reason. Maybe this beloved mummy was on the run? I mean the people who were coming after him obviously wanted him dead and they were able to succeed but why?

Read more on JSTOR: The Unsolved Case of Ötzi the Iceman


Here’s my theory!

After all the research I have done, I honestly believe that Ötzi was a criminal/outlaw in his society. The fact that Ötzi was up in the mountains alone doesn’t add up and according to the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology’s website, when they found Ötzi’s  body they found unfinished arrows and tools in which made him look as he was in a rush to leave.

Something else I also inquired was that in their society at the time if a male of high social standing died they would bury him in a cave and have a whole reception similar to today’s funeral, yet Ötzi (who seems to be like a high man in society) was left out in the mountains to bleed to death…alone. When you add up all the facts these scientists have gathered just from his body, such as the position it was in, and the things that surrounded him most people would agree that my theory is the most logical and it even compliments some other theories.

The problem with the Prehistoric Period is we may never know the facts because we lack writing. We can get close to knowing the truth but will never actually be sure and that’s the sad thing because everything we know about Ötzi and his culture and family could be wrong and it’s just mind blowing at the fact that we lost/have no information on this big chunk of period. However, the more we explore, the more we will learn and be able to develop theories but they may always remain as theories.

Fun fact: Even today’s celebrities are big fans of the iceman; Brad Pitt has this spectacular Otzi mummy tattoo on his forearm.

Hey, its me again! So I got to visit Ötzi (call it a pilgrimage of sorts) at the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology in Bolzano, Italy. Read about my adventures HERE!

I actually incorporate Ötzi into my Humanities class as a webquest because:

  1. I love him
  2. It engages the students who are interested more in the sciences and less into art
  3. He is a fabulous example of Prehistoric life and the kids seem to really get into Ötzi’s story by the end of the class period.



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