Museum Home >> Tattoo History >> Upper Paleolithic >> Oetzi

Oetzi the Iceman Mummy

Oetzi the Iceman (also spelled Otzi and known also as Frozen Fritz) is the modern nickname of a well-preserved natural mummy of a man from about 3300 BC, found in 1991 in a glacier of the Otztal Alps, near the border between Austria and Italy. The nickname comes from the valley of discovery. He rivals the Egyptian "Ginger" as the oldest known human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view on the habits of Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Europeans.

Oetzi the tattooed iceman mummy
Oetzi frozen in the ice

Some of his tattoos were located as follows:
Four groups of lines to the left of the lumbar spine; one group of lines to the right of the lumbar spine; a cruciform mark on the inside of the right knee; three groups of lines on the left calf; a small cruciform mark on the left of the left Achilles tendon; a group of lines on the back of the right foot; a group of lines next to the right outer ankle; a group of lines above the right inner ankle.

The tattoos of Oetzi the iceman

Oetzi had 57 tattoos, some of which were located on or near acupuncture points that coincide with the modern points that would be used to treat symptoms of diseases that he seems to have suffered from, such as digestive parasites and osteoarthrosis. Some scientists believe that these tattoos may indicate an early type of acupuncture.


Europe Tattoo MapSee all European Tattoo Culture Articles here

NEXT >> Ancient Egypt