Date(s) - 28/02/2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Royal Cornwall Museum
This lecture will now be taking place at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro
The Neolithic Glacier Mummy “Ötzi“: His Life Circumstances and Environment
Klaus Oeggl, Botanical Institute, University of Innsbruck
Nearly thirty years of investigations on the find assemblage of the Tyrolean Iceman “Ötzi”
reveal a great deal of information about the life and environment of this Neolithic man in the
Alps. The palaeo-ethnobotany of his artefacts discloses a skilled person, well adapted to the
alpine environment. Since the discovery of an arrow head in his left shoulder a strong
evidence for a violent death is on hand, but there are still several questions. Concerning this,
the analysis of sequential ingesta samples from different locations of the Iceman´s intestinal
tract encompass at least three different meals consumed of the Iceman during his last two
days. The background pollen of the ingesta samples enables the reconstructionof his travels
just before his demise. Additonally the new data corroborate the early season of his death.
These results lend new weight to the disaster theory of Ötzi´s death.
Furthermore, besides the dispute about the Iceman’s personal fate, a discussion about the
social status of the Iceman has started. Primarily, four hypotheses were suggested to explain
the find in its entirety. The speculations vary from a hunter or warrior to a shaman, a miner or
a shepherd. None of these proposals is accepted or corroborated by archaeological findings,
but on the basis of palynological investigations conducted in the vicinity of the discovery site
the assumption that the Iceman was involved in an early form of transhumance has gained
general acceptance now. However, recent results from archaeological field studies and from
coprolite analyses on dung pellets from the Iceman´s discovery site cause doubts on the
existence of such a vertical transhumance in the area during the Iceman’s lifetime
Our 2019 Corfield Nankivel lecture (presented jointly by CAS, the Prehistoric Society and the Royal Institution of Cornwall) will take place on Thursday 28th February 2019, starting at 6.30 p.m., at The Royal Cornwall Museum, River Street, Truro, TR1 2SJ. Our hosts, in accordance with their policy, would like those attending to please book a place in advance. This can be done online by going to https://shop.myonlinebooking.co.uk/RoyalCornwallMuseum/buy.aspx?tid=3 and clicking ‘ADD TO BASKET’. Alternatively, you can reserve a seat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01872 272205. It is for this reason that information about this lecture has been posted earlier than normal.
Please be aware of the change of venue and the fact the lecture is beginning an hour earlier than usual.