Ancient human bodies, melted from their glacial time-capsules, present unique sources of highly detailed information of lives spent long ago. One example of particular note has been dubbed by the world's media `OEtzi the Iceman'. Deservedly celebrated from the moment of his incredible discovery, his fame has only increased with the realisation of his murder. Found high in the Alps shot in the back by an arrow, OEtzi lived some 5,200 years ago and represents the oldest and coldest of cold cases. The hectic and violent last few days of his life have been revealed by various analyses of his gut contents which can be likened to an encoded diary and a map. Pollen and coarse remains of plants including mosses have been crucial in these respects. DNA analysis has revealed details of his diet. Stable isotopes have indicated two homelands. This is a detective story unparalleled in scientific archaeology.
In this engaging and fully illustrated new book, one of the world's foremost authorities on glacier mummies explores their curious preservation and unravels the clues they have left for us locked in ice, frozen in time. As one the most mysterious and best preserved examples, OEtzi and his story are given special attention.
James H. Dickson is a retired Professor of Archaeobotany and Plant Systematics at the University of Glasgow where he is now an Honorary Senior Research Fellow. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Neill medallist of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.