The day Ötzi was found – level 3


In the warm autumn afternoon of 1991, two German tourists, Helmut and Erika Simon, walked off the path on the ridge in the Ötztal Alps, on the Austrian-Italian border. They spotted a body that they believed was of a recently deceased mountaineer. The body was extracted from ice and transported to the office of the medical examiner in Innsbruck, Austria, together with other objects that had been found.

The body was a mummy; the mummy got the nickname Ötzi, and currently, he is Europe’s oldest known natural human mummy. He is believed to be around 5,300 years old and he probably lived in the Copper Age. Ötzi’s body was covered in 61 tattoos, and among his possessions were berries, baskets, a copper ax, and other instruments that seemed to be a fire lighting kit.

In 2004, a court confirmed that the Simons had discovered Ötzi and they were entitled to a finder’s fee.

Difficult words: ridge (a long, narrow top of a hill or mountain), decease (to die), finder’s fee (a fee paid to a person who finds something valuable).

What do you think are the benefits and implications of Ötzi’s discoveries for humans living today?


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