ARCHAEOLOGY: The study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.
Donja Malhotra (Urheber der Schuh-Rekonstruktion und der Zeichnung) Original uploader was Helge Sternke at de.wikipedia
Today you can discover the story of Ötzi, the man from the Copper Age who 5000 years ago climbed up a glacier and died. Naturally preserved in this frozen environment, he was found in 1991 and became the subject of intense archaeological study.
This is an example of natural mummification, like the kind that sometimes occurs in a peat bog, where the lack of oxygen and the low temperatures slow the decay of the body. In Cheshire, England, for instance, two well-preserved bodies were discovered in Lindow Moss in the 1980s, arousing great archaeological interest. At the time Lindow Woman was found, police suspected a criminal, Peter Reyn-Bardt, of the murder of his wife. Confronted with the discovery of Lindow Woman, Reyn-Bardt confessed to the murder; imagine his chagrin when radio-carbon dating later showed that in fact the body was almost 2000 years old. On the strength of his confession, however, he was later found guilty of his wife’s murder.
(The radiologists who studied Lindow Man nicknamed him “Pete Marsh”, a play on the phrase “peat marsh”. The British press took up the phrase.)
And now, back to Ötzi…
←A photo of Ötzi in the glacier taken by Helmut Simon, one of the German tourists who discovered the body, never suspecting how ancient it was.
Read these sites to discover more…
DNA tests have been successful in producing Ötzi’s complete genome. Read the details at this site.
Ötzi was wearing an intriguing collection of clothing, including a grass cloak, specially made shoes that allowed him to walk in the Alps and a knee-length garment made of tanned goat leather. The shoes are particularly interesting because they were made of bear leather (sole) and deer leather (upper) and were carefully lined to protect Ötzi’s feet from the cold. For precise details about Ötzi’s clothing, go to this link:
Ötzi was carrying some beautifully crafted tools, including the only perfectly preserved prehistoric axe ever found. While the axe was made of copper, the dagger was made of flint. This shows that even when people started using copper, flint was still a very important resource. Read about Ötzi’s equipment at this site:
YOUR TASK: See what else you can discover about Ötzi. Write a list of the types of evidence used by archaeologists to piece together his story, including the techniques used, e.g. reconstruction, DNA testing, etc.
♦His final moments:
Here’s one last Stone Age timeline, this time with footprints and stepping stones, both appropriate metaphors for the changes that occurred between 120,000BC and 4000BC:
Alex's version of the stepping stones of change in Stone Age history