South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Bolzano, Italy

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology was specifically established in 1998 to house 'Ötzi', a well-preserved natural mummy of a man from about 3300 BC. This is the world's oldest natural human mummy. It has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic (Copper Age) European culture. The world's oldest complete copper age axe was found among his extensive equipment which also comprised a rather complex fire lighting kit and a quiver loaded with twelve arrows, only two of which were finished, clothing and a flint knife complete with its sheath.

The body is held in a climate controlled chamber within the museum at a temperature of -6 Celsius and 98% humidity, replicating glacier conditions in which it was found. Along with original finds there are models, reconstructions and multimedia presentations showing Ötzi in the context of the early history of the southern Alpine region.

Converted from a 19th-century bank building, the museum covers the history and archaeology of the southern Alpine region from the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic (15,000 B.C.) up to 800 A.D. In 2006, the museum hosted an exhibition on the mummies of the Chachapoyas culture.



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Via Museo 43, Bolzano, Italy
See all sites in Bolzano


Founded: 1998
Category: Museums in Italy


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steve Rempel (8 months ago)
On the surface I was concerned this museum might be very one dimensional due to the nature of the star attraction, but it was instead exceptionally well done, with an broad assortment of artifacts and history - very well presented. A big thumbs up.
Anna KM (10 months ago)
Very interesting museum, definitely recommend it. All information is given in German, Italian and English. There is items, texts, films, touch screens and, of course, the mummy. There is lockers you are asked to put your things into and these can be used with 1€ or 2€ coins. We got here at 9:45am, it opened at 10:00am and it took us just over 2h to visit the entire thing while reading all texts and taking it slow. When we left, there was a huge queue for entering, so be there early or reserve your tickets, we didn't do this as we came by spontaneously.
Nick Pastore (10 months ago)
Very cool and interesting to see. This was a great stop and we’ll worth the few euros. Learned a lot about early life and how hard it was to survive
Fleur Schmidt (10 months ago)
Exploring and discovering Ötzi the Ice Man was a real eye-opener! The museum is super well-arranged amd organised, packed with details about him and different eras and the era he lived in. If you've got the Bolzano card, it gets you in free. Just one bummer: they ask €2 for the audio guide app, which you'd think is included in the entry fee seeing as it's a bit expensive. That's why we downloaded the kids app because thats free! Also 100% book your tickets beforehand we wanted to go spontaneously but there was a very large que so we decided to book tickets for a later day. One more downside is that it can be extremely busy in quite a tight space which is a shame cause it takes away from the experience.
Zohar Stup (12 months ago)
It was fascinating seeing and learning all about Ötzi the Ice Man! The museum is very well organized and contains lots of information about him and the period he lived at. If you got the Bolzano card you can use it to enter for free. One downside: The audio explanations app costs $2, which is something you would expect the entrance fee to cover
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