On September 19, 1991, two hikers came across a corpse that was emerging from a melting glacier in the mountains between Austria and Italy. Four days later a team from Innsbruck, Austria, arrived to retrieve what they thought was the victim of an accident.
Unprepared for an excavation, they borrowed poles from passing skiers to try to chip away the ice. After the body finally arrived at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Innsbruck University, it was assigned a routine ID number: 91/619.
Once it was clear that this astonishingly well-preserved mountaineer died 5,300 years ago, he acquired a nickname: Ötzi the Iceman, after the Ötzal Alps where he was found.
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