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Norbert Mattersberger
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Norbert Mattersberger
Age 43
Sex Male
Status Poacher
Culture Austrian
Date(s) Born in 1796, disappeared in 1839 and was found in 1929
Current Location
Location Gradetzkees Glacier of Austria
Catalog #

Alois Hanser found a male corpse on the Gradetzkees at an elevation of 2,700 meters. Having reported the case to the local authorities, Inspector Karl Wenter from the Huben police department accompanied by a forensic officer, two helpers and Alois Hanser went to retrieve the human remains. They were at the terminus of the Gradetzkees towards the Dorferalm, about 10 meters below a crevasse. The man’s head was missing, parts of the chest and back were well preserved, hair and skin still adhering to the torso. One of the lower legs was broken off at the knee and was also missing. The hand and leg bones as well as the bones on both sides of the body were exposed. He still had a leather brace over his shoulder. At the time, police identified the remains as those of Norbert Mattersberger aka Spiegelburger from East Tyrol. He had been reported missing in 1839, not having returned from a chamois hunt.

There are theories that Norbert might have been murdered by another hunter and thrown into the crevasse. This idea came about when a newspaper covered a story on a hunter admitting to killing another hunter and throwing him into a crevasse 30 years prior.


The ice mummy was found in 1929 in the glacier, 30 feet below the surface in a crevasse, on the Gradetzkees Glacier of Austria. His abdomen was well preserved, however, his head and lower part of his right leg were missing.


A rusty rifle with leather sling lay next to the body, as well as three lenses with frames of non-ferrous metal, pear wood and horn that were part of a set of binoculars. The weapon is a 16 mm calibre full stocked single-shot muzzle loading rifle with octagon barrel, seven riflings and underhammer percussion lock. Overall length is 120 cm, barrel length is 85.5 cm. Shreds of clothing, hair, teeth, ossicles, led shots, buttons and a clasp knife lay scattered between the end of the crevasse and the corpse Also found was a silver wind-up pocket watch with a case coated with varnish imitating tortoise shell.

Due to the lack of autopsy, there is no verifiable information about age and gender or potential evidence of a fight or injuries or gunshot wounds.

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