January 25, 2012

Frozen mummy

Discovering the Iceman
by Shelley Tanaka

In 1991, two hikers in the Italian Alps spotted what they first thought was a doll sticking out of the melting snow. Crudely dug up, the body was transported to an Austrian medical lab, where carbon-14 dating revealed that it was 5,300 years old. Examinations of The Iceman, as the body became known, has shed light on what life used to be like in the late Stone Age (500 years before the Egyptian pyramids). Pictures of the Iceman's clothing and tools are very interesting, while diagrams and sidebars provide information about diet, agriculture and glacier movement.

Most of the book consists of a fictional recreation of the Iceman's life and how he may have died. The story may mislead some readers into thinking it is actually true. However, the book does provide a good look at how archeologists do their work. Also, the close-up and gruesome photos of the Iceman will prove attractive to many children.

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