Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The 5000-Year-Old Man

Quote of the day:
"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
--Samuel Johnson

What may be the most extraordinary archeological discovery of our lifetimes was announced 16 years ago today.

A 5,300-year-old corpse was found frozen in a glacier in the Alps, between Austria and Italy, the most ancient human being ever found completely intact.

He was between 25 and 35 years old, about five feet, two inches tall. His hair was cut; he had several tattoos.

He wore a fur robe, whipstitched in a mosaic pattern, a woven grass cape, and size 6 shoes.

He carried a copper axe and a fur quiver for his arrows, which had sharp flint points and feathers to make the arrows spin in flight, and several mushrooms strung on leather cord, a mushroom known to fight infections. But the mushrooms didn't do him much good because he had an arrowhead in his back.

He was apparently murdered.

(Thanks to “The Writer’s Almanac” for this history item.)

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