National Geographic : 2011 Nov
the body to a custom-made box lined with steril- ized aluminum foil. In its frozen state, the Ice- man's deep caramel skin had a digni ed luster, reminiscent of a medieval gure painted in egg tempera. With the agonized reach of his rigid le arm and the cruci xate tilt of his crossed feet, the defrosting mummy struck a pose that wouldn't look out of place in a 14th-century al- tarpiece. Within moments, beads of water, like anxious sweat, began to form on his body. One droplet trickled down his chin with the slow inevitability of a tear. THIS WAS NOT the rst time that the Iceman had been subject to intense scienti c scrutiny. A er Austrian authorities rst recovered the mummy in 1991, scientists in Innsbruck cut a large gash across his lower torso as part of their initial in- vestigation, along with other incisions in his back, at the top of the skull, and on his legs. It was later determined that the shallow conch of gray rock where he had been found was on the Italian side of the border with Austria, so the body and the artifacts surrounding it were relocated to Bolzano. Over the years, numerous Eduard Egarter Vigl (pointing) and colleagues use an endoscope to try to examine the arrowhead in the Iceman's shoulder. The arrow severed an artery, causing a quick, bloody demise. Far left: A model depicts the Iceman and artifacts as they were found in 1991.