Dating violence picutures
Although some eight bodies had already been recovered from the high alps already in 1991 an archaeological expert was called in to give advice in this particular case because some of the artifacts discovered with the body seemed to be potentially very ancient.
It was only then, after five days of heavy-handed mistreatment, that the Iceman was given professional assessment.
One of the on-lookers used a pickaxe in further attempts to free the body from the melting ice. Whilst the frozen body itself was being removed under the supervision of the forensics expert the process was being recorded on film by a film crew brought to the site by news of the unusual find.
The remains were then taken from the mountain by helicopter to the town of Vent in the Austrian Ötz Valley and then on to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Innsbruck, Austria.
International complications came into play as, although the body was discovered in a place where waters as they drained from this part of the Alps flowed towards Austria, its actual resting-place was confirmed, by a subsequent border survey of early October, to have been some 93 metres inside the Italian border.
Agreements were reached between the relevant authorities allowing for the continued responsibility for the investigation of the corpse to lie with the Forensic Institute at Innsbruck.
Fatalities occur every year in the high alps due to such things as climbing accidents, exhaustion, adverse weather or sudden deaths.
The bodies of such victims are often recovered shortly afterwards but they can also subsequently disappear into the snowy landscape.
To prevent further damage, the body was bathed in fungicide, wrapped in a sterilized plastic sheet, covered with chipped ice and moved it to a refrigerated room at the university.The various official and unofficial attempts at freeing the frozen body from the ice had, unfortunately, done harm which tended to somewhat lessen the potential archaeological value of the site.Numerous pieces of leather and hide, string, straps and clumps of hay were recovered and preserved for further study.On their descent from a peak near Tisenjoch they strayed a little from the recommended route in the hope of finding a short cut and, as they traversed a rock-strewn elevated plateau near a retreating mountain glacier at some 3210 meters above sea level, they passed a gully filled with thawing ice and melt-water within which they noticed something unusual.
Further investigation showed this object, which Helmut Simon at first, and from a little distance, thought to be a "doll's head", to be an actual human corpse.The Simons' story featured some years later on "Death of the Iceman" an episode of the BBC2 "Horizon" popular science show first shown 9.00pm Thursday 7 February 2002.