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Arriving at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Konrad Spindler, head of Innsbruck's Institute for Prehistory, was stunned, immediately realizing the significance of the shriveled body.

"I thought this was perhaps what my colleague Howard Carter experienced when he opened the tomb of Tutankhamen and gazed into the face of the Pharaoh." By the time Dr.

The various official and unofficial attempts at freeing the frozen body from the ice had, unfortunately, done harm which tended to somewhat lessen the potential archaeological value of the site.

Numerous pieces of leather and hide, string, straps and clumps of hay were recovered and preserved for further study.

On their descent from a peak near Tisenjoch they strayed a little from the recommended route in the hope of finding a short cut and, as they traversed a rock-strewn elevated plateau near a retreating mountain glacier at some 3210 meters above sea level, they passed a gully filled with thawing ice and melt-water within which they noticed something unusual.

Further investigation showed this object, which Helmut Simon at first, and from a little distance, thought to be a "doll's head", to be an actual human corpse.

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To prevent further damage, the body was bathed in fungicide, wrapped in a sterilized plastic sheet, covered with chipped ice and moved it to a refrigerated room at the university.Spindler arrived at the Institute of Forensic Medicine the Iceman's remains had become the centerpiece of an informal press conference.While the Iceman and his some of his tattered belongings lay on a dissecting table under blazing lights, reporters and other hangers-on joked, smoked and even touched the body.The task was made difficult by the presence of quantities of icy melt water and the powerful tool they were using actually chewed up the Iceman's garments and even ripped into his left hip, exposing the bone.In the event this recovery attempt was curtailed as the pair ran out of compressed air to power the jackhammer.

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