Showing posts with label the Mummy in the Glacier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the Mummy in the Glacier. Show all posts

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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Ice Man, the Mummy in the Glacier Part.I

The discovery of the mummified body of an Iron Age man preserved in a glacier on Austria’s Otztaler Alps stunned the world. After several years of research, the Ice Man puzzles scientists. The secrete of what drove him to his lonely death in an ice cave over 3,000 meters above the sea level remains a tantalizing enigma.
            On September 19, 1991, German mountaineers Erika and Helmut Simon mad a macabre discovery on the Hauslabjoch in the Otztaler Alps: sticking out of the ice, a human corpse lay face down on his stomach his dried out upper body covered by a parchment like skin. The thin ice still held his right leg, which was wrapped in straw and leather strips. The site soon attracted curious people and researchers who found all kinds of objects scattered around the body. Among these were a copper hatched and a complete set of hunting equipment. Several days later, the body was officially removed and flown to Innsbruck by helicopter.

 The scientists placed in charge of the investigation all agreed that Otzi, as the Ice man was nicknamed, was sensational find. They were able to determine the age of the corpse by means of the carbon 14 method, which was carried out at various laboratories in different countries, with each laboratory being given a different sample. Together with the stylistic classification of the objects fund around the body, the tests suggested that the man had died around 3300 BC. Apart from the age of the body, the scientists wanted to know exactly how it had remained intact in the ice for a period of about 5,000 years. After all, the oldest known corpses previously found in glaciers were only several hundred years old.

The body had not been found in the middle of a glacier but rather in a rock crevice at the edge of the ice sheet. This was a section where the frozen water was very deep. As this crevice did not have a natural out let, it had not been affected by movement in the great mass of ice. If the body had been exposed to the forces of a moving glacier, surely no trace of the Ice Man could have been found?