It's early summer high in the alps of Bronze Age Italy. A man is travelling alone and on foot; he's of average height and build, about 45 years old and looks like he's a long way from home. He's suffered injury, hunger, infection, disease and his body is covered in scars and mysterious tattoos, but he's well equipped for his journey. He carries a cloak, bearskin cap, tough leather insulated shoes, leggings, a backpack, first aid kit and assorted tools. He is also well armed with a longbow, arrows and quiver, a flint dagger and an expensive copper axe.

 

At some point on his journey he's involved in a fight and is seriously wounded. He manages to escape his attackers and flee further into the mountains where a fews days later, whilst traversing a glacier he is ambushed and wounded by an arrow in the left shoulder. He crawls into a rocky hollow to seek shelter and soon bleeds to death. A little later snow begins to fall and his body quickly freezes. For the next 5000 years the man's body lies undisturbed and perfectly preserved in the ice until one day in Sept 1991 when two middle aged German hikers stumble upon his remains protruding from the melting ice.

 

Today the man, nicknamed 'Ötzi' after the valley where he was found lies preserved in a special museum in Bozen, South Tirol. Many questions remain as to his identity, his life and his death but his discovery has revealed in unprecedented detail evidence of a highly developed pre historic culture in this mountainous region.