Ötzi, the Iceman and his Leather Clothes


  • Alois G. Püntener VESLIC Verein Schweizerischer Lederindustrie-Chemiker und -Techniker, c/o Dr. A.G. Püntener, Postfach 505, CH-4016 Basel;, Email: veslic@hotmail.ch
  • Serge Moss Novartis Pharma AG, Forum 1, Novartis Campus, CH-4056 Basel;, Email: serge.moss@novartis.com




Ancient tanning method, Iceman, Infrared spectroscopy, Neolithic leather clothing


Over 5000 years ago, a man climbed up to the icy heights of the glacier in South Tyrol, Italy and died. He was found by accident in 1991, with his clothes and equipment, mummified and frozen: an archaeological sensation and a unique snapshot of a Copper Age man. For several years highly specialised research teams have examined the mummy and all accompanying items. This paper describes how fur and leather clothes of the iceman could have been tanned. Details of the analytical tests undertaken on the 5000 year old leather samples and what they revealed are presented.




How to Cite

A. G. Püntener, S. Moss, Chimia 2010, 64, 315, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2010.315.