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September 18th, 2011, marks the 20th anniversary of the discovery of Otzi the Iceman. The 5,300-year old naturally mummified human has mesmerized both experts and amateurs, since he was discovered intact with clothing and equipment, by two hikers on a mountain range bordering, Austria and Italy .
To celebrate his 20th year, forensic scientists have reconstructed an image of what Otzi may have looked like with the help of anatomical 3D images of the skull, and . . . . . it looks nothing like the existing conjured up image of the Iceman.
Previously depicted as a strapping young man with sparkling blue eyes, the new Otzi is a middle-aged, wrinkle-skinned human, with graying hair and shaggy beard - But most importantly, his deep set eyes are not blue, but dark brown.
Created by Dutch artists, Adrie and Alfons Kenni, the new lifelike image of Otzi will welcome visitors to a new exhibit dubbed Otzi 20-Life Science, Fiction & Reality, that is currently open at the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology, which houses the Iceman's intact skeleton. The exhibition, which will continue till January 15th 2012, will host many special events, including a birthday celebration that begins on September 18th and ends, in the wee hours of September 19th.
Otzi, named after Austria's Otzal valley, has been one of the most remarkable finds in archeological history. His remains were so intact that scientists even found evidence of his last meal - meat and unleavened bread, inside his intestine.
Beside him, were all his tools, which included a bow and arrow, a dagger and a copper axe. Even more surprising, was his sophisticated clothing that comprised of a hide coat, an intricately woven grass cloak, leggings, loincloth and shoes. His body was marked with over 57 tattoos, which scientists believe may have been acupuncture treatment for his arthritic knees. Scientists think that Otzi died at the age of 45, from exhaustion and an unhealed arrow wound, on his back.
Over the last 20 years, numerous scientists have examined the Iceman to get more insight into the Copper Age and over 3 million people have gone to see his remains at the museum in Bolzano. The officials at the museum expect Otzi's 20th year to be even busier and are planning to offer guided tours in many different languages including Spanish, Ukrainian and even, Hindi.