Title: NOVA: Iceman Reborn
Release Date: 17 February 2016
Director: Bonnie Brennan
Production Company: A NOVA Production by Bsquared Media for WGBH Boston in association with ARTE France
Ötzi, the 5000 year old mummy found frozen in ice in the mountains along the border of Italy and Austria, is a source of continual fascination. I was lucky enough to visit his resting place at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology during my honeymoon in 2005. This documentary focuses primarily on artist Gary Staab getting unprecedented access to the mummy and using 3D printing to create a sculpted duplicate of Ötzi for researchers and students to learn from. In-between scenes of the sculpture’s creation, scientists offer insights into Ötzi’s last meal, his role in society, his many tattoos (possibly related to a prehistoric healing method), and a genetic analysis that shows him most closely related to Sardinians. There’s even evidence that he suffered from Lyme disease. There’s a lot to learn from Ötzi and it appears that he will continue to offer insights into the human past.