High Definition Iceman

Now you too can observe Otzi the Iceman in extreme-closeup detail from the comfort of your home, thanks to the Iceman Photoscan project.

They’ve taken 150,000 high definition images from 12 different angles, in normal and UV light. You can zoom in on his every tattoo, to the width of just a few millimeters, and you can even view him in 3D if you have the glasses.

The detail is crazy. You can see every pore, every hair follicle, every scrap of clothing.

To keep him as well-preserved as possible, his living space duplicates the conditions of the glacier in which he so happily slumbered for thousands of years. Otzi lives in a darkened chamber, climate controlled to a perpetual -6°C (21°F) with 98% humidity.

There’s a viewing window so visitors to the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology can file past and give him a peek, but it’s 40 x 40 cm (15 x 15 inches) area, so you don’t exactly get an eyefull. Hence this high definition picture scanning project.

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Comment by Dina
2009-03-07 03:03:33

Amazing detail, yes. But there is something sad in having Otzi on display behind the little window and not resting, as you said, in his comfortable (and private) glacier.

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Comment by livius drusus
2009-03-07 12:56:11

True. The museum website notes that they had a discussion about that, whether Otzi should be reburied after he was thoroughly studied.

With regard to the public debate on whether the corpse should be buried on completion of the archaeological, anthropological and medical examinations, a decision was thus made in favour of conserving and exhibiting it.
The finding should be conserved as perfectly as possible for posterity while at the same time being made accessible to the interested public. Research work on the body should also continue.
The mummy itself is laid out nearly hidden from view in an apse-like darkened room and can be viewed through a window, past which visitors file. The viewing window into Ötzi’s refrigerated cell measures just 40 x 40 cm due to conservational constraints. A larger opening would have resulted in excessive temperature fluctuations inside the cell. At the same time the designers of the exhibition wanted to provide an intimate atmosphere for the mummy for ethical reasons.

Comment by Dina
2009-03-08 00:36:47

Yes, I had read that part of the website. It was their “intimate” atmosphere for “ethical” reasons that made me laugh/cry. Poor Otzi, trapped in that sterile tiny cell. Couldn’t they have built something more natural looking, like cave-like? Like, with a bit of imagination?

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Comment by livius drusus
2009-03-08 14:45:58

They probably could have, but it would have run the danger of looking a little theme-parky, you know?

Comment by Dina
2009-03-11 01:32:00

Oh, yeah, maybe.
I’m still under the impression of the Australian Museum which is done with a lot of imagination.

Comment by zeena lovve gaurden
2011-09-20 22:37:11

:skull: damn that is a really big headed person but at least he is a gnuies cause he figured out how t o do that madicne thing wich is pretty cool

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