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The discovery of the Iceman On 19 September 1991 an extraordinary archaeological discovery was made at a high-altitude mountain pass (Tisenjoch, 3210 m) of the Ötztal Alps near the Austrian-Italian border.

Two mountain hikers from Nürnberg, Erika and Helmut Simon, after having scaled the Finail Peak (3516 m) that day were on their way back to the Similaun mountain hut (3019 m) located at the lowest part of a mountain ridge connecting the Finail Peak with the Similaun (3607).

A scientific team was assembled and, over a three-day period, the remains were extracted and taken to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Innsbruck. Otzi was found lying face down with outstretched arms in a protected rock depression near the Finail Peak watershed at the top of the Tisenjoch pass which connects two forested valleys.

Such an incredibly valuable find soon led to a jurisdictional argument between the Austrian and Italian governments and an immediate border survey was done, finding Otzi had been lying ninety-two meters inside of Italian territory. The trench measured 40 meters (131 foot) long, between 5 and 8 meters (16-26 foot) wide, and averaged 3 meters (10 feet) deep.

The frozen corpse also gave modern science the opportunity to forensically investigate and positively determine how Otzi the Iceman was killed.