European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 9 1999, Page 50

Low-resolution version. To view a high quality image

Start Free Trial
European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 9, 1999, Darmstadt, HessePage 14 stars and stripes travel thursday december 9, 1999 i j ancient Man becomes modern tourist attraction by Larry Bleiberg the Dallas morning Newso n a snowy afternoon on the Edge of an Alpine Ridge a Silhouette materializes in the Mist Concrete obelisk marking the place where a Man Lay Down to die 5,300 years s uncomfortable weather hints at conditions the Man May have faced in his final hours. Although no one can be certain it is believed he was surprised by a storm and sought Refuge in a Small Gully. He leaned his Backpack against a Rock and put his head on a Stone Pillow to wait for the weather to Clear. He never 1991 when two German hikers discovered his body fro zen in a Glacier at 10,400-feet above sea level at Hau Slaboch pass on the Italy Austria Border the find created a worldwide sensation. Here was a flesh and blood link with the Copper his clothing and equip ment were preserved it was possible to see How people dressed and lived More than five millenniums ago when Stone age Man was beginning to develop Metal would be like finding a present Day camper thousands of years from now and discovering his Gore Tex jacket plastic cooler and Swiss army knife. In the last eight years the Frozen Alpine Man has been the object of intense research. We now know his last meal Moun Tain Goat plums and hard wheat crackers. We know he was tattooed and at 46 a relative ancient suffering from arthritis and chronic carried weapons Medicine and a simple religious icon. Beyond that our knowledge is sketchy. Scientists believe he May have been a Shepherd caught in a storm. Others think he was a great Leader his a and Bearskin Cap might suggest he was a Village chief or priest. His original name lost to the Ages he has a new one Votzi pronounced oat seen Honor of his final resting place the Otz Tal Alps a Region on the ital Ian Austria Border now popular with skiers and the last year or so this Frozen wanderer has found Newlife As a tourist attraction. In nearby Bolzano Italy his image has been preserved in chocolate and printed on to shirts and win bottles. Replicas of his hat Are Avail Able As is Votzi gelato a nutty chocolate Caramel ice Cream. His body is displayed in a refrigerated Case in a new City Votzi now resides in Bolza " s / i a v a a v % " " is \r-Vxsft-4 Dallas morning news Larry Bleiberg Knight Ridder news service hikers use ski poles to secure their footing As they approach a hut near vent Austria near where a 5,000-year-old Man was found preserved in a Glacier. The site is on the Boarder of Austria and Italy. Is one of the amazing stories associated with the find. When the body was discovered the italians wanted nothing to do with it. Dozens of hikers die every year in Alpine accidents although the bodies sometimes Don t turn up for decades. Authorities searched the records and at first thought Votzi was a music teacher who disappeared in 1938.the austrians who retrieved the body from the Remote spot did t do such a great Job them selves. They used a Jackhammer to free Votzi from the ice which could account for his broken ribs and the wounds on his Side. The workers also scattered and destroyed some of his his Copper a so intrigued the austrians that word soon reached the University of inns Bruck. That s where an astonished professor gave his initial opinion. This was t a lost hiker a world War i Soldier or even a medieval wanderer. He was Aman who lived before the creation of the pyramids or Stone henge. I was very sceptical thought that could t be sail myuide1 to the1 South Tyrol museum of archaeology the prehistoric Man has become the Symbol of the South Tyrol museum of archaeology in Bolzano Italy. Votzi site who saw the body still Frozen in place an helped recover some of his possessions. Pir Pamer owns a Homeland the Al Pine hikers hut that served As command Post for the recovery operation an later archaeological hut is once again a peaceful place for hikers seeking a hot meal and award bed. But in the weeks after the find it was besieged by journalists scientists and Fortune visitors included italian and austrian soldiers who guarded the site and eyed each other across the Border. Wings hta Little crazy a said Pir Pamer a tall White haired Man of 62 and the former president of the International federation of Mountain guide associations. Later archaeological digs indicated that Votzi was pre served because he had chosen a fortunate place to die. His body was found in a Gully in an area usually covered by ice. His Corpse quickly froze and was eventually buried under More than 60 feet of Snow. Although a Glacier passed Over the area his body was protected by the Gully. The freeze dried Corpse emerged thousands of years later after a warm Winter and a Freak weather pattern brought hot Sahara winds from Africa into the eventually ruled that the death site was 101 Yard inside Italy. But Austria did t give up Votzi easily. Even his tattoos which marked Sites of Bone deterioration and May indicate the use of acupuncture to treat arthritis entered the fray. Someone suggested the 57 charcoal Marks might qualify Gasworks of Art under austrian antiquities Laws. That Wouldhave prohibited removing them Ati Titz Fern me cur it european politics also May have come into play Austria at the time was trying to enter the european Community and Italy As a member could have kept its neighbor a Compromise was reached. Austria could keep the body until research was completed. Then Votzi would return to Italy. Not everyone applauded the decision. When the body finally came to Bolzano the move was made in secret and under armed is actually a logical Home for Votzi. Particles of pollen found on his body suggest that the iceman once lived in the valleys near the City. It in t surprising italian Shepherd from the Region still spend sum mers tending their flocks i Alpine pastures. In september they drive the animals Back tothe warmer valleys. Hikers on their Way to the Votzi Monument pass a Low Stone Shack built into a Hillside. The resident is a Shep Herd who motorcycle and cell phone aside lives much As the iceman s ancestors probably did Bolzano is also a fortunate location for tourists. a j thursday december 9, 1999 stars and stripes travel Page 15 Dallas morning news Larry Bleiberg Knight Ridder news service the area of vent Austria has been Home to shepherds for centuries. The iceman May have been one scientists say. Ice from Page 14 the museum offers an excuse to visit a pleasant Corner of Italy Little known to North americans. The northeastern Region was once part of Austria and it feels As German As it does speak both languages. Menus features schnitzel and town sits in a bowl sur rounded by pastures and mountains some accessible by Cable cars. Its old City has narrow streets lined with shopping a , the italians did a wonderful Job with their Muse $10 million South Tyrol museum of archaeology is built inside a carefully renovated Bank building. The museum puts Votzi in archaeological context and provides information in himself is kept inside a refrigerated chamber and invisible through a Small window. The Man once stood 5-feet,4-inches tall and weighed about 110 pounds but he appears tin now almost an inconsequential Skeleton. He rests in a contorted position with his Arm stretched across his Chest. His skin i leathery Brown and too deteriorated to reveal what he looked like in his prime scientists have probed and Analysed � -. shoes above Dagger and an a were among the items found with the prehistoric Man who was discovered Frozen in a Glacier. of Copper and arsenic suggest he knew How to make of a Fingernail shows he had been fighting disease for his last months. His body shows Wear on his joints and no fat indicating a life of hard labor. But researchers Are equally taken with Votzi s All the display cases we have this is the most important says museum employee Serena Perini motioning to Votzi s a an pocket knife after the last Glacier age Europe was a Forest this the a is the difference Between civilization and a Rock panel with Carv Ings discovered in the Region i especially striking it shows figures wielding axes the exact shape As the iceman s. Is clothing re Hes across a Ages. Tiny stitches on his Goat skin shirt indicate the precise work of an ancient tailor. The clothing also has larger Sloppy stitches Marks of Votzi s crude repair work it is believed. Other gear on display includes leather underwear a grass cloak and tall lace up moccasins Votzi had stuffed the footwear with grass to help keep his feet first Aid kit was two pieces of Birch fungus mat have Antibiotic qualities. He wore a Pouch attached to a Belt and worn much like a modern Fanny pack and he held a tube made of Birch bar that contained embers wrapped in Maple Leafs his version of a Bow was also found an intimidating 6-foot-Long weapon that probably snapped during the recovery. The piece was a work in Progress Votzi still had to carve the notches to hold the iceman s possessions Are made of 18 types of Wood including Ash Birch Hazel Larch Lime and Yew indicating hand his tribe were sophisticated craftsmen choosing the bes material for each purpose. Although the modern museums generous with information it can explain Only so much about Tzi i wanted to see the land scape where he had lived an died. The Votzi Monument i 30 Miles few iv1 .,14 researchers realized he was a Man who lived before the creation of the pyramids or stonehenge. Away but the easiest route for travellers is a roundabout three hour trip by train and taxi. The Scenic journey leads through the Brenner pass and Innsbruck Austria where commuter trains link to the Otz Tal station. Then it s a 45 minute drive to vent modern tourist Village at the end of the Valley were Votzi s remains were first Votzi s discovery the Pir Pamer s Post hotel has expanded its offerings. Once a week during the summer a staff member leads overnight trips to Votzi s journey begins with a 6 /2-hour walk to the hikers hut not including time for stops such As a strudel and schnapps break at another hut at the mid Way Point. The final mile or so Isa demanding walk up a Mountain Ridge often covered with Pir Pamer s hut just celebrated its 100th birthday. It sleeps 70 in dormitory style bunks and serves hot meals. This night the hikers Are German italian and Swiss. I m exhausted and chilled from the has shifted to sleet. The next morning i Roll out of be with great reluctance and hit the Trail. The hut is enveloped in Clouds Pir Pamer much More interested in mountaintops than Monu ments first leads a German couple and me to the heists of a nearby Glacier a three hour round trip journey. We Are roped together and use ski poles for support. At the top a Large Cross Marks where a teen Ager fell to his death. On the Way Down i notice our footprints have Al ready blown away in the growing a warm lunch Pir Pamer and i head Back we walk he says he under stands How Votzi might have died he was surprised by the weath even in summer changes can be dramatic he said. We re silent for a while. We trudge Over Slippery rocks and Cross snowfields the surface crunching with every step. I m cold and wet when we arrive at the Monument. The fog is so thick i m standing nearly be Neath the Marker before it s visible. Through the Mist the inscription is difficult to read. The language reflects the importance of the find which led researchers to relate the Copper age. But the scientific words fall Flat there s no spirit of theman who was once trapped Here. Along with his tools and weapons Votzi carried a Marble Dis tied to a Tassel. The Pebble had no practical purpose. Research ers believe it was an Amulet a Symbol of Protection that Indi Cates he practice some ancient Survey the landscape and wonder about Votzi s final moments. I d like to believe that As the Snow swirled around him rethought of the people who would miss him when he failed to re turn Home. I Hope his Faith included a vision of the afterlife. An maybe that tiny Stone provided some Comfort he be to die,.,

Search all Darmstadt, Hesse newspaper archives

All newspaper archives for December 9, 1999