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10 March 2009
Online users now can virtually tour Oetzi's body

A Stone Age warrior frozen in an icy tomb for 5,300 years can now be viewed in astonishing detail thanks to a new website. The Iceman photoscan project took 150,000 high definition images of the perfectly preserved mummy from 12 different angles, which the researchers loaded onto the new website www.icemanphotoscan.eu. This allows users to zoom into details that are just millimetres wide from the comfort of their living room. They can also view the mummy in 3D and see its distinctive tattoos in both white and UV light.
     "This website allows an in-depth virtual contact with the mummy without compromising its sensitive preservation conditions," Preservation Project Manager Marco Samadelli said. "It is an opportunity for the wider public to discover and study a cultural heritage, unique to the world."
     Nicknamed Oetzi, the prehistoric hunter is complete with fur and grass robes, leather shoes and bow and arrow. Oetzi is kept in a specially built museum in Bolzano, Italy. Visitors view the mummy through portholes into a specially refrigerated room. "The current preservation conditions of the mummy prevent the wider public from getting close to it," researchers from the European Academy Bozen said. The intuitive zoom function lets users close in on interesting details such as Otzi's numerous tattoos. Some scientists have speculated the marks indicate a form of acupuncture The project also created 3D images of the mummy, but users will need their own 3D glasses to get the effect

Source: Mail Online (6 March 2009)

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