A so-called "wet mummy," his cells maintained their humidity, meaning his body tissue remained relatively elastic and could be examined by scientists over 5000 years after his heart stopped beating.
His location also preserved him: as a glacier flowed over the gully, the base of the gully remained unscathed, meaning Ötzi and his possessions weren't crushed under the glacier's base.
Through an extraordinary series of coincidences, it seems.
Shortly after his death, the Iceman must have been covered by snow, and later by ice.
He also had a fractured skull, and major bleeding on the back of the brain, suggesting either a serious fall or an attack shortly before he died.
Extraordinary coincidences Scientists will never know the exact circumstances surrounding Ötzi's death.
Viennese reporter Karl Wendl is credited with naming the Iceman "Ötzi" – in reference to the Ötz Valley, near where the body was found .
Building up a picture of Ötzi Ötzi was the best preserved human ever uncovered from this time, writes the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.From parasite eggs found in Ötzi's gut, scientists discovered he had suffered from a whipworm infestation.Perhaps most incredibly, from just one fingernail found at the scene, scientists could conclude that Ötzi had been ill at least three times in the months before his death. Deep grooves running horizontally across the nail, Beau's Lines can indicate periods of disease, infection or other physical illness.But through his incredible preservation, experts have been able to unlock numerous secrets about the iceman.So how did Ötzi remain intact through the millenia?Scientists were not only able to estimate his age, gender and height – around 45 years, male and 1.6m – but could also reveal intimate details about the Iceman's life.