Scientists have presented a life-sized copy, made using a 3D printer, of Oetzi the mummified 5,000-year-old “iceman” found in the Alps 25 years ago.
Pre-existing CT scans were used to make the resin replica, which was then sculpted and hand-painted by US artist Gary Staab over many months, Italy’s South Tyrol Museum of Archeology, where Oetzi is housed, said on Wednesday.
“The reconstruction of the hands was a challenge, since they could not be captured on CT scans,” the museum in Bolzano, northern Italy said.
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Three replicas were made, one of which will be part of an exhibition that will tour North America, starting in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh in October 2017.
The second and third replicas will be used for teaching purposes at the Cold Spring Harbor DNA Learning Center in New York.
In what became an archaeological sensation, Oetzi’s mummified remains were found high in the Oetztal Alps — hence the name — by hikers in September 1991 after being preserved in the ice since the Stone Age.
Clothing and equipment, including an axe and a backpack found at the site, as well as the contents of Oetzi’s stomach, his DNA and his 61 tattoos gave scientists highly valuable insights into human life at the time.
He died a violent death, killed by an arrow, at the age of about 45. He was 1.6m tall, weighed 50kg, had brown eyes and was lactose intolerant.