Discoverer of world's oldest ice mummy scoops reward

29th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A German holidaymaker who discovered a 5,000-year-old ice mummy named Oetzi has received a 175,000-euro (213,000-dollar) reward for her sensational find after a long legal battle, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Erika Simon was on holiday in the Italian Alpine province of Bolzano in 1991 with her husband Helmut, who has since died, when they stumbled across Oetzi's corpse in an astonihing state of preservation after five thousand years in the deep freeze.

"A reward of 175,000 euros will be paid out" to the Simon family after "bitter negotiations" with Bolzano, in northern Italy, said a statement from the lawyer, Georg Rudolph.

The region had originally offered 50,000 euros but was forced to raise its pay-out after several court appeals.

"It would have been much cheaper for the province to be more generous from the beginning," said Rudolph, noting that legal fees of more than 48,000 euros were also due.

Oetzi, considered the world's oldest ice mummy, was found along with clothes and weapons that have provided useful clues into how people lived in the Late Neolithic age.

Scientists believe Oetzi was around 46 when he died. He had been severely wounded by an arrow and possibly dispatched with a blow to the head by a cudgel.

© 2010 AFP

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