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Eventually, carbon dating confirms that ítzi died 5,300 years ago. At first, they suspect he was lost in a storm, but mounting evidence begins to suggest something else happened to the Iceman, something more violent.
His were the oldest intact human remains ever recovered. Exactly what that was will likely be uncovered here, in Bolzano, Italy, just 30 miles from the spot where he died.
They will have just nine hours to complete their investigations before the Iceman must be refrozen.
Pathologist Eduard Egarter Vigl is leading an operation that could be risky.
They will be following fresh leads about the Iceman's death, but also his life, at a key turning point in human civilization.
We now know that with increasing population, there are more people contesting boundaries. So people can now fight over a plot of land and over the resources on it.
In fact, when they found the Iceman, he was still wearing one of his shoes.
One risk is that scientists who enter the room bring their bacteria and germs with them.
Another risk is that we have no way of knowing if there are still living organisms in the mummy itself, and if these would be activated in the defrosting.
Now, through an autopsy like none other, scientists will attempt to unravel mysteries about this ancient mummy, revealing not only the details of ítzi's death but also an entire way of life. Join NOVA as we defrost the ultimate time capsule—the 5,000-year-old man. On a remote mountainside, high in the European Alps, a man makes his way through the thin mountain air. On this day, 3,000 years before the birth of Christ, this man's life will end in a violent death.