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The Man in the Ice: The Discovery of a 5,000-Year-Old Body Reveals the Secrets of the Stone Age [Hardcover]

Konrad Spindler
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 7, 1995 0517799693 978-0517799697 1st
The story of the amazing discovery of a man frozen in the Alpine ice, told by the leader of the international team of scientists who investigated the find. A classic of scientific discovery that reveals to us the fullest picture yet of Neolithic man, our ancestor.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1991, a couple from Nuremberg, Germany, vacationing in the Austrian Alps made a sensational discovery-a mummified, well-preserved body, half emerged from a glacier, which turned out to be the corpse of a 5300-year-old Neolithic man, fully equipped with ax, flint dagger, bow and arrows, wooden stave and belt-pouch. Dubbed "the Iceman," he had charcoal tattoos on his legs and feet and a traveling medicine kit-pieces of birch fungus known to contain a natural antibiotic substance highly active against deadly bacteria. His clothes-cap, leggings, fur poncho, loincloth, shoes, grass cloak-comprise the most ancient complete set of garments found in Europe. In an astonishing, exhaustively detailed report (with 32 color photos), which reads like a forensic mystery, Spindler, the Austrian archeologist who led the investigation, reconstructs efforts to identify this prehistoric hunter's native village, culture and cause of death. A surprising picture emerges of Neolithic folk medicine, farming, stockbreeding and culture.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA?In September, 1991, a German couple hiking near the Austrian-Italian border stumbled on a mummified body at the edge of an alpine glacier. This book is the detailed, day-by-day account of the discovery, recovery, and investigation of that body, considered one of the most important scientific events of the century. The well-preserved Neolithic man was a hunter carrying tools, equipment, and clothes that have provided new insights into the nature of daily life in the Stone Age. One background chapter describes life in the Neolithic Age and another tells what is known about permafrost mummies. Many full-color photographs and a glossary of technical terms make the book a complete study on this fascinating subject.?Penny Stevens, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony Books; 1st edition (February 7, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517799693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517799697
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating details from a serious archaeologist November 7, 2003
In 1991 the Alpine glacier ice had already given up five bodies before a sixth was discovered by passing hikers. The previous five had been in the ice from 10 to 57 years. The sixth had been held suspended in the very spot where he died, for 5,000 years.
The excitement of this momentous discovery quickly degenerated into farce as nations began squabbling over jurisdiction. Was the man found in Italian or Austrian territory? Konrad Spindler, the first archaeologist to examine the body and intimately involved in its study ever since, reports this bureaucratic wrangling as scrupulously as he does every other detail of the find in this thorough and absorbing book.
He begins at the beginning, with the hikers who spotted the emerging head and shoulders and goes on to mention every other person who arrived at the site, tourists as well as officials and recovery experts. Although this at first seems puzzlingly excessive, it's important.
Recovery, made difficult by the weather and the reluctance of the glacier, was suspenseful, interrupted, and involved a certain amount of hacking and other disturbance. But the glacier preserved the iceman (and yes, Spindler explains exactly how) so perfectly that tourist photos and recollections of the scene are important to reconstructing his final hours. The picture that emerges is so clear and intriguing, it's amazing that -in fiction - so far only a children's novel has been inspired.
The iceman was clearly a mountaineer accustomed to spending prolonged periods far from home (his carefully sewn garments were crudely mended and his teeth were worn from a steady diet of dried meat).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend March 13, 2000
By A Customer
I was in college when Otzi was found, and I didn't have time to read up on the excavation, so this book was a welcome surprise for me one day when I was browsing the science section of my local bookstore. Sensitive, yet scholarly, Spindler recounts his experience in fascinating detail while preserving the unfortunate man's dignity. Although translated from the original German, Spindler's profound respect and professionalism show through, particularly in his description of the state of the body and of the controversy and rumors surrounding the genitalia. I found the whole book to be well-organized, divided into six sections describing the discovery, the equipment,the clothing, the body, background information on the region and neolithic culture, and "public reactions to the find". I disagree with a previous reviewer's complaint about Spindler's "conjecture"; of course it is, since there are no written records from 5000 years ago. However, all of his speculation about the Iceman's occupation, etc. seems to be soundly based on what we DO know about anthropology, the region's history, flora and fauna, technology of the time, and previous finds from similar cultures. Also, don't let the metric measurements ruin your enjoyment of the book; many rulers now have English and metric measurements on opposite sides, providing for easy comparison. I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this book for anyone interested in learning about the Iceman.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous, fun, interesting read. October 10, 2000
Konrad Spindler should know what he is talking about. After all, he was in charge of the high-profile, no expense spared, scientific investigation of the fantastically fortuituous find of "the Iceman," found beneath a receeding glacier in the Austrian Alps in 1991.

Imagine you are Konrad Spindler(the author). An accomplished archaeologist, you are settling down to normal duties on an otherwise uneventful morning in a modest academic institution, you receive a call to view an "unusual corpse" found recently in the mountains, and then, after viewing a smorgasboard of 4,000 year old implements on a table in near pristine (for archaeologists) condition, and a full, well-preserved body of a long-dead ancient European, and saying coyley, in front of a few sceptical onlookers, "at least 4,000 years old, maybe older." The media, quite rightly, hit the roof with excitement, as did the university administration, the police, journalists from all over the world, tourists and the like. And, just as amazing as any of the events that transpired, necessary equipment for your department was delivered promptly, security of site and items was attained promptly and without argument, funding for research was granted immediately, and well trained archaeologists, scientists and faithful historians embarked on a well-funded, well-orchestrated, (if not well prepared) investigation into the "man in the ice," and his secrets. The stuff science is made of.

This is that story, faithully told by that archeologist, Konrad Spindler. It is excitingly and humurously written, and thoughtfully analyzed. The iceman had (has!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is probably going to be the best book about Otzi the Iceman available, divided into six sections. It details every aspect of the find from a sometimes tedious day-by-day account of the process of excavation, to a close description of all items. The sections I found to be the most interesting were those
describing the Icemans wares, weapons, and clothing, in addition to a summary of life around the Alps in
Neolithic times, as part of an attempt to understand the circumstances surrounding his life and death.
Spinder understandably comments on the uglier aspects of the find, such as the fights for media attention and
everyone trying to get a piece of the Iceman (figuratively and literally), and clearly separates this from the
purely scientific analysis of the find. The book contains many color pictures of the excavation, artifacts, and body,
including other illustrations as required. Also a glossary of technical terms to assist the reader. It must be remembered, though,
that this is primarily a book about a corpse and contains detailed pictures in color. It's depth of detail may seem tedious, and
I assuredly would have rather not seen all measurements given in Metric. The overall rating is simply based on my overall
impression of the book, but it probably stands as being the prime treatment of the subject matter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I love adventure, primitive technology and the outdoors. This book blends them into a great read. I just got the book last night and read too far into the night. Read more
Published 2 months ago by William Clancy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Subject Matter
I was told this book was out of print and I bought a used one that wasn't supposed to be in good condition for 99 cents. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Judith L'amoureux
4.0 out of 5 stars Polly in Va.
Have the DVD and wanted the book for details and discriptions of the articles that were found with the frozen body. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Paula J. Strickland
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AMAZING STORY
This is the story of the discovery and forensic examination of the body of the 5300 year old man found in the ice in the Otztal Alps. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Robert D. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Book cries out for an updated version
The man in the ice was subject to an autopsy in November of 2010, which has been presented on PBS' NOVA Series, Fall 2011. Therefore, the book really needs an updated edition. Read more
Published on October 29, 2011 by phillyrich
5.0 out of 5 stars "Otzi"
This is a very interesting, well-documented look into the discovery of a Neolithic era man, nicknamed Otzi, found preserved in a mountain glacier. Read more
Published on March 7, 2011 by L.A. in CA
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
I bought this book to get a better idea of what tools and clothing man was using 5,000 years ago. There is much more detail about these items in this book than can be found on the... Read more
Published on January 23, 2011 by Ike
4.0 out of 5 stars Ice Man Delivers
Konrad Spindler's The Man in the Ice is a good account of the discovery and early analytical testing of the of Otzi as the mummy soon will be called. Read more
Published on March 2, 2009 by R. King
5.0 out of 5 stars An early and perhaps still the most comprehensive record of this...
Doctor Konrad Spinzer in this book (my version translated by Ewald Osers apparently from Der Mann im Eis: Die Otztaler Mumie verrat die Geheimnisse der Steinzeit (German Edition))... Read more
Published on February 17, 2009 by C. Scanlon
4.0 out of 5 stars Only worth reading for description of equipment
If this is the only book you expect to ever read about the mummified Neolithic corpse found in the ice in 1991 then buy it. Read more
Published on March 1, 1999 by Priamsdaughter
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