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


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kevin Obrien (17 months ago)
Great museum , very informative and interesting. The only thing I would say negative there are not written in English but they do have some of the Q,codes you can scan to translate to English.
Matt Smith (17 months ago)
What a great place to learn about the history of mankind. Well done exhibit with a lot of explanations of how the Ice Man was discovered. Location is easy to find. Buy your tickets early to avoid the line outside. The only reason for a 4 star instead of 5 is because of the woman outside managing the line. When I asked if this was the line for the museum, she replied with yes. As I was waking away, she spoke in German with the others waiting. She mocked my question and was laughing at me. I guess she didn’t realize that I speak German too and understood every word. Shame on her!!
Madchill (17 months ago)
Fantastic museum. A must see while in Bolzano. Certainly they could provide all the information about the corpse in one room, but I think if they did, visitors would not have an opportunity to read all the details and see the artifacts at their own pace.
r p (18 months ago)
The ice man exhibition is unique in the world- a must see. The cave man is older than your average Egyptian mummy yet this display brings him to life- you really feel like you are meeting your European ancestors.
Richard Wojciech Tobiasiewicz (18 months ago)
Amazing museum devoted to the 5,000 year old Iceman Otzi. Allow 2 hours. Well worth the visit. Educational and many unique exhibits.
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