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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Official Recovery of
The Iceman

The official recovery of the body took place on September 23, 1991 under the supervision of Professor Henn from the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the University of Innsbruck. Due to low nighttime temperatures, the body was again frozen stuck into the ice and was finally freed with the help of ice picks, ski poles and ice axes.

Recovering the mummy
The Mummy's Head is Lifted During the Recovery

During the recovery process, bits of fur, leather, straps, string and clumps of hay were uncovered and collected. A flint dagger with a wooden haft was also pulled from the meltwater.

Some of Iceman's equipment
The Iceman's Equipment Discovered During the First Recovery Attempt

The sheet of ice was between 60 and 100 cm (2 - 3 1/2 feet) thick and was covered with a fresh layer of snow at the time of the excavation.

Iceman before being taken out by helicopter
The Iceman Before being Taken Away by Helicopter

The glacier mummy, now known as The Iceman, was packed into a body bag along with his belongings and sent to Vent by helicopter. The glacier mummy then continued to Innsbruck in a hearse.

A first location examination at the site where the Iceman was discovered took place October 3 through October 5, 1991. A steam-blower and dryer were used for the excavation. Bits of a net made out of grass rope, pieces of fur and leather, and the remains of a birch bark container with its contents were found. Remains of the Iceman's grass cloak were discovered on the stone slab where the mummy had laid.

Excavation Work
Excavation Work at the Site

Further excavations found more leather, grass, and fur and more of the Iceman's equipment. The Iceman's fur cap, bits of skin, muscle tissue, hair, and one fingernail were also recovered.

Melting the Ice with Steam Drills

Repeated speculation that the mummy had been found on Italian territory made the clarification of the border question necessary. Confusion was caused by the Treaty of St.-Germain-en-Laye between Austria and the Allied and Associated Forces in 1919, as the border was drawn along the watershed between the Inn and the Adige valleys. At the time of the treaty, it was not clear on which side the area of the Tisenjoch was on because it was covered by the glacier. The Iceman was found in an area that now drains off toward the Inn.

Survey of the Iceman site
Surveying the Site Where the Iceman Was Discovered

An official new survey of the border region was needed. It was determined that the location of the find was on south Tyrolean territory, just 92.56 m (less than 300 feet) from the frontier. The Province of South Tyrol claimed property rights, but the find was entrusted to the University of Innsbruck for scientific examination.

1 - Discovery of the Iceman

2 - Recovery of the Iceman

3 - Medical Examination of the Mummy

4 - The Iceman's Clothing

5 - The Iceman's Tools and Equipment

6 - The Return of the Iceman to the South Tyrol

7 - The Iceman's Prehistoric Use of Medicines

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Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

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