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The Man in the Ice: The Preserved Body of a Neolithic Man Reveals the Secrets of the Stone Age Paperback – 24 Jan 1994

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Paperback, 24 Jan 1994
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First U.S. Edition edition (24 Jan. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297814109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297814108
  • Package Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,019,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

The amazing story of the discovery of a 5000-year-old body found perfectly preserved in the Alps - written by the leader of the investigation --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dr Konrad Spindler was born Leipzig in 1939. He studied medicine, anthropology and archaeology, as well as prehistory and early history. He was head of excavation at 'Magdalenenberg' in Villingen in the Black Forest, and from 1977 to 1988 was Professor and Lecturer at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg. Since 1988 he has occupied the Chair of prehistory and early history at Innsbruck University, and is serving as head of the department of medieval and modern archaeology. Konrad Spindler is the author of numerous books on archaeology. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In principal this should be a fascinating read about the unique an historically significant find of this 5000 year old body in the alps. Supprisingly the book seems to want to avoid talking about the body, and seems to be more of a justification of why they did what they did during its recovery and the period post that event. It seems to be filled with poorly written prose and largely irrelevant detail. I suspect part of this may be a personal preference (not the writing style, I stick by my belief that this was awful) as I notice some reviewers liked the early chapters. However, to like these early chapters you need to have a love of the jurisdictional questions of high altitude corpse ownership , justifications of why they went to a fair amount of effort to destroy the corpse and tedious blow by blow detail of how it was found (person A walked up the hill, he then walked down, person B walked up and then walked down with person C after hitting the body with an ice axe for a bit). I get the fact that no one expected this corpse to be 5000 years old and there is going to be a certain amount of damage, and I suspect a lot of their justification in this book was a reaction to the heat they got from the scientific community as to how the whole thing was handled. That aside it does not make for exciting reading (or not for me). This is like the Phantom Menace of the Star Wars series, promises a lot, but untimely drags on with dull grating dialogue and a meandering direction. The corpse also looks suspiciously like Ja-Ja-binks without the ears. This book was a missed opportunity that could have been greatly improved by a ghost writer and an editor who had the wherewithal to say 'cut that its boring'.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thsis book was perfect after visiting the museum where the 'ice man' is stored.I have never seen an exhibition like it. The book gave me opportunity to read more about the findings in my own time.It was a fascinating read.of which I learned so much. so pleased that I found it at more reasonable price tnhan whatthey were asking at the museum.
the condition of the book was excellant
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Format: Paperback
The cover of this book announces itself as "The amazing inside story of the 5000-year-old body found trapped in a glacier in the alps", by the "leader of the scientific investigation". Should be good, eh? Certainly, this book fills in a lot of the detail which was skated over in the initial excitement. However, Spindler is not a particularly talented writer; good editing could have knocked his book into better shape. This book is a good read in spite of, rather than because of, the author.

We get off to an exciting start with the discovery of the body. At this point, it seems Spindler is going to adopt the style of a "police procedural", but he gets bogged too down in detail. The reader tends to tire of the blow-by-blow account of events. There is neither sufficient dramatic tension nor moving human drama. Spindler is writing soon after events (the book was published in German in 1993) and too much of his energy is directed at countering criticism of the various (entirely understandable) blunders that occurred during the recovery of the body. This distracts from the otherwise gripping subject matter.

The site was at in a position which meant only experienced mountaineers could easily reach it; these mountaineers didn't have the knowledge to recognise the exceptional nature of the objects found with the body, and damaged them; previously the oldest bodies to come out of the ice had been about 400 years old, and these had been reduced to smithereens, so naturally the mountaineers assumed this well-preserved body must be quite recent; bad weather made bringing in experts in helicopters almost impossible; the site was repeatedly covered by fresh snow falls, making investigation tricky.
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Format: Paperback
I recently bought this book from a second hand book shop and had a vague memory of having heard about the finding of the Ice Man years ago. Spindler begins by immediately and ably engaging the reader with his recount of the quickly unfolding events immediately after the Ice Man, Otzi as he is now known, was found quite by accident by a German couple. Otzi, the mummified corpse of a late Neolithic man who lived approximately 5000 years ago, had been partly issued forth from a melting glacier. It had melted to an exceptional extent because of unusually sustained high temperatures. Spindler tells us how his body had been mummified and why he had been preserved with scant damage before being found. The initial bungles and mis-analysis as to his age led to wranglings as to where he should be examined, whether in Italy or Austria because he was found so close to the border between these two countries. Mis-calculation as to his age meant that he and his precious possessions were not treated with the degree of care which their great age demanded. Damage to the mummified corpse and his artefacts inevitably resulted.

The book lays before us in a number of sections the results of the analysis of Otzi and his possessions, so that Spindler is able to tell us, amongst other things, where Otzi had lived, what his occupation was, what ailments he had been treated for, what his artefacts and clothing were made from and where the raw materials that they were made from had probably been sourced, what they were used for, whether he had made them himself or somebody else had, what his last meal had been and how he died. I found all of this enthralling and fascinating.
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