Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ice Man, the Mummy in the Glacier Part.II

According to the team of scientists and forensic investigators, the Ice Man certainly had the right equipment to survive in the harsh conditions of the Otztaler Alps. He wore a fur cap, as well as a cape woven from grasses that probably served as a rudimentary raincoat.

Under his cape, he had on a robe made from pieces of fur sewn together. In order to protect his legs from the bitter alpine cold, he wore fur clad leg warmers. He also had on a loincloth and shoes made from solid leather which were stuffed with thick grass. The Ice man carried the equipment necessary for making a fire, as well as a container made from birch bark which was probably used to transport the hot coals which were so laboriously kindled.

The Ice man’s bow and arrow made it possible for him to hunt wild animals, but it is thought that he was not a hunter. Buy the time of his death, human survival depended less upon hunting than upon farming and raising livestock. Scientists today believe that the ice Man was probably a shepherd, who may have hunted wild animals but more likely herded his cattle on the high pastures in summer.

 Why did the Ice Man undertake his last, fatal hike into the high mountains? The researchers speculate that he must have either been involved in a serious fight, or perhaps that his home village had been targeted for attack by outsiders. This view is borne out b the fact that he already had several fractured ribs before he set out on his last journey into the mountains. If he really was a shepherd, then he probably knew the highland terrain well enough to hide from his pursuers.

 Despite his severe injuries, the ice man kept on climbing higher and higher, until he had exhausted his strength. Finally, he reached the bleak, frozen Hauslabjoch area. There he probably encountered a change in weather:  perhaps snow began to fall, and the temperature dropped. The ice Man sought shelter under an overhanging rock, ate some dried meat and desperately tried to keep awake. He knew for certain that he would die if he went to asleep. But he was too exhausted to care any longer; he lay down, fell asleep and never woke up. Several hours later, a thick blanket of snow had covered his cold and lifeless body.