Where and how did Ötzi live? Questions like these are posed by the exhibitions in the Museum and in the open-air area of the archeoParc Val Senales. As is the case with many archaeological open-air museums throughout the world, the structure manages to provide the answers practically without any original archaeological finds. Rather, it depicts faithful copies (replicas) as well as conceivable reproductions and interpretations of the finds.
The permanent exhibition on the world of the Iceman has existed since 2001 and has undergone only slight adaptations. At the inauguration of the archeoParc, it was arranged by Austrian anthropologist Silvia Renhart from Styria in collaboration with an international team of experts.
Tours through the permanent exhibition are held every Sunday at 3:00 P.M. and may also be reserved for any desired time.
- The Iceman
As a lead-in to the visit, the topic is presented of how things may have been when Ötzi died, along with a presentation of our facility and the area at that time and today. On top of that, a timeline invites the visitor to wander back in time 5,300 years.
- Going after Prey
A diorama and plaques with text tell of buildings made from stone, cup and ring-marked stones, and Mesolithic hunters in the Schnals Valley.
- For 6,000 Years and Even More
Pasture agriculture with sheep continues to be important to the Schnals Valley to this very day. The earliest evidence of it in the Copper Age, its various forms, and their development are depicted by this area of the exhibition, which then transitions into another important topic:
- From the Ice Age to the Forest Age
The answer to the question as to how the landscape in the Schnals Valley and in particular at the timber line developed may possibly be directly connected with pasture agriculture.
- The Mesolithic Period
Social aspects, the way of living and the division of labor within small groups, fertility, motherhood, and the mobility of hunter-gatherer societies in the Paleolithic Period are the subject of several text plaques.
- The Neolithic Period
The topics that are dealt with here include farming the land and raising livestock, neolithic food plants in the Inner Alps area and in comparison to the Mesolithic Period that is the main focus of the exhibit, and information on fertility, the division of labor, and group work in the Copper Age, as well as the first appearance of metalworking in our region.
- The Iceman in Harmony with Nature
We found nearly twenty different kinds of wood with Ötzi at the Tisenjoch. The exhibit here tells of plant communities and habitats in which they appear, as well as what Ötzi made out of them. Replicas that can be touched are a part of the exhibit.
In the open-air area of the exhibition, the corresponding trees and shrubs grow.
- “His Last Meal”
This deals with the contents of Ötzi’s intestines: pollen, charcoal, brown algae, whipworm eggs…
Contents are in part out of date.
- Signs, Marks, and Traces
Tattoos on the mummy and the flint arrowhead in the left shoulder are displayed.
Contents are in part out of date.
- Copper, Flint, Animal Bones, Sinews, and Plant Fibers
In addition to wood, Ötzi used numerous other materials to produce his objects. They are presented here. Replicas to touch.
- 3,210 m (10,532 ft.) above Sea Level – A Journey through Time and Space
A 3D multivision show presents images from the Tisenjoch and vicinity and tells one possible version of how Ötzi’s last days and hours may have been.
- Function, Protection, and Beauty
The conclusion to the exhibition is formed by a brief outline of clothing in the Copper Age.
- The Clothing of the Iceman
This deals with the remains of the clothing that were discovered on the mummy. The individual articles of clothing are displayed, as are their testing on the glacier. The clothing reconstructions are available to be touched.
Contents are greatly out of date.
Good things come in small packages. We have 40 sq. m (430 sq. ft.) available for special exhibitions. Here we have the possibility of showing something new from time to time to a full one third of our patrons who are return visitors. This allows us to go further into depth with regard to Ötzi and his times.
The good spirits behind the temporary exhibitions are usually a guest curator, Museum Director Johanna Niederkofler, and our own house technician Siegmar Gamper.
The starting signal for working out the concept for the second generation permanent exhibition in our building came last year in the autumn within the framework of a workshop of experts who had been invited by our support society. The museum management is currently drawing up the rough concept and searching for the financial means for the implementation…
The three actual-size models of Copper Age houses were built according to archaeological finds at the wetland settlements at Lake Constance and Federsee lake with authentic materials.
- House 1
This model depicts a house as it may have stood during the time of Ötzi’s grandparents on the banks of what is now the Swiss side of Lake Constance (Arbon Bleiche 3, 3,385-3,371 BC). With its numerous remnants of building timber, the excavation findings from close to Arbon make a reconstruction attempt possible such as those in the archeoParc open-air exhibition areas:A house was built here with post and beam construction with posts that still had the bark on, with one row of pillars and two rows of studs. In a manner that is analogous to the find, the posts that were used had forked, incised ends as well as thin split planks made from silver fir. The bindings were made from hemp rope. As with the example that was found, the house’s floor here is slightly raised above the underlayer. The door of the house model follows an excavation finding in Robenhausen, Germany. It is made from a single board of silver fir. In the archeoParc, this house is called the “Big Hut” or the “Arbon House”. This is where the demonstrations on prehistoric fire making are held.
- Houses 2 and 3
The examples for the model houses 2 and 3 originate from an excavation from the Federsee lake area in Upper Swabia, Germany. The two small buildings are built in a tied and interlaced wall construction that is slightly similar to a log cabin but does not have any systematically placed central or wall posts. The houses have an undivided interior room and are provided with a fireplace that is located approximately in the center. They measure approximately 4 x 5 m (about 13 x 16 ft.)Incidentally, the archaeological findings of the reference settlement suggest the presumption that this village is only inhabited during the year only in the period between the sowing and the harvest of the flax. Its inhabitants were possibly specialized in textile production and moved back into their main settlements in the autumn and winter. As an experiment, one of the two houses was covered with oak bark (in monk and nun style). The other model houses in the archeoParc have shingle roofs. In comparison to the model houses in the archeoParc, the fact that one and the same archaeological finding can be the basis for different model houses is shown by the reconstructions in the Federseemuseum in Bad Buchau, Germany and in the Pfahlbaumuseum in Unteruhldingen at Lake Constance, Germany.
Trees, shrubs, and crops all grow in the open-air area of the archeoParc.
- Tree Instructional Path
Along with Ötzi, equipment made from various materials was discovered. The majority of it was made of wood: for the hatchet handle, knife handle, cords, arrows, the bow, etc.. Ötzi used wood from a total of nearly twenty different plants. Most of them grow here:
European yew (Taxus baccata)
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
Mountain pine (Pinus mugo)
Larch (Larix decidua)
Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra)
Norway spruce (Picea abies)
Small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata)
Common ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
Dwarf willow (Salix herbacea)
Silver birch (Betula pendula)
Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
Hop hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia)
Green alder (Alnus viridis)
Common hazel (Corylus avellana)
Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
Wayfarer tree (Vibunum lantana)
Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier ovalis)
Dogwood (Cornus sp.)
- Wild Plant Instructional Path
A selection of wild herbs, plants that were gathered, and dye plants grow along the paths in the archeoParc open-air area. They are labeled and provide a small insight into the wild plant world of 5,000 years ago.
- Archaeobotanic Field and Garden
Barley and the ancient species of wheat emmer and einkorn grow on the demonstration fields at the archeoParc. Additional fields are reserved for flax. From its fibers, the threads are made for clothes and bowstrings. In the adjacent garden, legumes are grown such as lentils, peas, and beans, as well as poppies.
- NIEDERKOFLER Johanna (2013): Anglerglück von der Steinzeit bis heute. Ausstellung zur Fischereigeschichte im archeoParc Schnalstal. In: Südtiroler Fischerzeitung 3/2013. p. 14f. [Article online]
- HEIN Wulf (2007): Dächer aus Eichenrindenschindeln im Praxistest. In: Mamoun FANSA et. al. (Hg.): Holz-Kultur von der Urzeit bis in die Zukunft. Ökologie und Ökonomie eines Naturrohstoffs im Spiegel der Experimentellen Archäologie, Ethnologie, Technikgeschichte und modernen Holzforschung. Conference at Oldenburg 24.-25.11 2005. Oldenburg 2007. p. 258-263.
- PLATZGUMMER Johanna (2005): Ein Zugang zu den Themen Ernährung und Landwirtschaft in der Prähistorie am Beispiel Archeoparc Schnals. In: Annali di San Michele. No. 18. 2005. p. 1-23.
- RENHART Silvia (2002): ArcheoParc Schnals – Lebensraum des Mannes aus dem Eis. Der neue Archäologiepark in Südtirol. In: Archäologie Österreichs 13/1. 2002. p. 60–62. [Article online]
- RENHART Silvia (2002): ArcheoParc Schnals. Lebensraum des Mannes aus dem Eis. Südtirols erstes archäologisches Aktiv-Museum. In: Südtirol in Wort und Bild. No. 46-47. 2002-2003. p. 37-40.
- RENHART Silvia (2002): Archäologisches Aktivmuseum. In: Archäologie in Deutschland 2002, 4.
- RENHART Silvia (2000): Der Mann aus dem Eis und seine Welt. Bozen 2000. p. 29-31.
- RENHART Silvia (2000): L’uomo rimasto nel ghiaccio ed il suo mondo. Bolzano 2000. p. 29.-31.
- RENHART Silvia (1999): Archäologiepark Schnals. In: Arunda 51. 1999. p. 159. [Article online]
- RENHART Silvia (1999): Der Mann aus dem Eis (Ötzi) – Archäopark Schnals. In: Archäologie Österreichs 10/1. 1999. p. 38.