There are many different theories and conclusions about the death of the Iceman. Konrad Spindler, who led the team studying the body, concluded that Iceman was a shepherd living in a farming community close to the Val Venosta. Iceman was well equipped for long absences and his general health was good although he did have some health problems. Most scholars’ opinions however, are conflicted about how and why he died.
According to Spindler, Iceman was a shepherd and may have lived in a farming village near the Val Venosta. Most historians agree that Iceman came from the Val Venosta are because of the similarity in flint found on Iceman and at the Val Venosta site. Perhaps the most convincing reason that Iceman came from the Val Venosta was that it was only 20km, a few hours walk, away. Konrad Spindler’s research in 1993 revealed harvested grains in his clothing and the threshing remains in his ember carrier. These, coupled with evidence that the Iceman did not make his own clothes (due to clumsy attempts at repair), suggest contact with a farming community. This tells us that the Iceman could have lived in a village or town close to the Val Venosta, and, that he died soon after the harvest.
Judging by the equipment he was carrying, the Iceman had probably had experience travelling away from his village as his tools and weapons enabled him to hunt and defend himself. The Iceman carried with him a yew bow, a quiver made from a fur bag with a hazel wood rod tied to the side for support. 14 arrows (12 of which were incomplete), a flint knife with an ash handle and scabbard, an axe with a copper blade attached with leather thronging. Two mushrooms on leather strips for “medicinal” purposes. A retoucher for Iceman’s dagger, arrowheads & axe, a net of grass strings, a backpack with hazel wood frame. Two cylindrical birch-bark containers, and, a belt pouch & contents such a flint scraper, a possible drilling tool, a blade for carving, an awl for punching holes in...
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