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Oetzi The Iceman Had Brown Eyes, Not Blue

February 17, 2011

A more-than-5,000-year-old mummified body found frozen in the Oetzal Alps in South Tyrol on September 19, 1991 will receive a new face for the 20th anniversary of its discovery.

Two Dutch experts — Alfons and Adrie Kennis — have made a new model of the Iceman Oetzi (also known as ×tzi) with brown eyes. It will be part of a new exhibit at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano.

Recent research has shown the Iceman, nearly 5,300 years old, did not have blue eyes as once believed.

The Kennis model is based on 3D images of the mummy’s skeleton as well as the latest forensic mapping technology, and will go on display beginning March 1 and will be shown through January 15, 2012.

The museum is also planning to improve its conservation efforts by using pure nitrogen to preserve the mummy, which should help it keep a relatively young appearance by eliminating oxidization.

The Iceman is believed to have died around the age of 45. He stood 5 foot, 3 inches tall and weighed about 110 pounds — an average build for his time.

Oetzi has become infamous over the years because of a supposed curse surrounding the mummy. Several people, including authors, researchers and mountain guides, who have come into contact with the mummy have died.

One of Oetzi’s discoverers was found dead after a mountain hike in 2004. And a forensic specialist, who closely examined the mummy after its discovery, died in a car accident in 1992 on his way to a lecture about Oetzi.

Oetzi, is also known as ×tzi.

Image Caption: Examination of the Iceman’s mummy by Dr. Eduard Egarter Vigl (c) South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

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