My latest impression is going to
VERY educational. I'll be learning how to knap flint and spin
sinew and grass. The best way to start this page is to point you
towards a couple websites that show all the Iceman's equipment, so that
you can see what I'm aiming at. Note that much of his clothing
and gear was made of tanned hides with the hair still on, but that the
hair has fallen out over the centuries so that it looks like plain
Oetzi, the Glacier Man
--University of Minnesota Duluth
Discovery News Article
--Not a pack frame, but a snow shoe?
Otzi, de gletsjermummie--zijn pijlkoker
--An alternate method for
slinging the quiver
Testing Otzi's shoes
The quiver is
made of deerhide--this one was untanned and I treated it as best I
could with "Tannit" compound, but not sure if I'd call it
"leather". A heavy coat of neatsfoot oil made it a little more
flexible. I have since heard that
ancient tanned deerhide ends up de-haired, so regular deer leather may
be more accurate for this. The first photo shows it in progress,
stitched together with leather thongs (like the belt, so no sinew
thread needed!). The last photo shows the
flaps open to expose the arrow fletchings. Since no strap
survives, I'm experimenting with attaching one to the wood stiffening
What a pain to make! There
is probably a more complicated and difficult way of doing the wooden
stiffener (carving a V-shaped notch almost the whole length and
drilling holes through for the thongs that close the side seam), but it
would take some doing to come up with one... The arrows are
actually medieval and are just there for show! They are only
superficially similar to Oetzi's, the fletchings being attached with
hide glue and linen thread, rather than birch tar and sinew.
The belt is
also sewn with thongs, so it's done except for some kind of coating
(tallow or grease). It's long enough to go around me twice and
tie at the front, as long as it's only going over the
breechclout. This is Spindler's interpretation, with the
advantage of keeping the pouch with the fire-starting gear nice and dry
under the flap of the breechclout. For tying the coat or tunic,
I'd either have to lengthen the belt, or (more likely) make a new one
without the pouch.
| My copper
axehead was made by Neil
Burridge and Jeroen
cleaning and smoothing it, I hammered the edge to flair and harden it,
and the sides to make slight flanges. Then filed off most of the
hammer marks and sanded it smooth again. Next comes the hunt for
suitable haft, more likely oak than yew.
I've got YEW! Turns out my sister-in-law and her boyfriend have a
yew tree in their
yard that has gotten a bit wild, and they very graciously let me lop a
couple limbs off. Have to mull a bit before deciding which end of
the large one to use. Not sure if the small one will work, but it
was there so I grabbed it. 8/22/05
Two evenings of work, using the tools shown: copper axehead, small
bronze axe, and flint flake. This just might work!
3/23/06--After quite a bit of work during the fall, and a long hiatus
over the winter, the haft is whittled to shape and notched for the
head. Clever trimming reduced the curvature considerably.
Yew is hard to work! I found out that it's also *toxic*, so be
sure to wash your hands, boys and girls. (The dust is very
dangerous for the lungs, too.)
Close-up of the notch. Might be better if it were a little
deeper, but we'll go with this for the moment.
3/26/06, and it's finished! I hope. I mixed liquid hide
glue with wood ashes to make a thicker adhesive for setting the head in
the notch, then wrapped the joint with a long strip of wet rawhide,
with more glue here and there. The rawhide is from a doggy chew,
which I understand is boiled and not as strong as "real" rawhide, but
Close-up of the head. It's not all completely dried yet, so I
don't dare swing it. There is also a close-up
from the edge, showing that it is very slightly out of alignment
with the handle. For my first attempt, I'm satisfied.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Question: "Are you going to cut off your you-know-what to
Answer: No, that's a very old myth,
sorry! His private parts are complete and intact.
2. Question: "Got tattoos?"
Answer: Felt-tip marker. No, you can't
see them. Wierdo.
Official Museum site-- http://www.archaeologiemuseum.it/index_f.html
Great Lakes Lithics--http://www.greatlakeslithics.com/
Caveman to Chemist Stone Tool page--http://cator.hsc.edu/~kmd/caveman/projects/stone/index.html
The History and Primitive Technology Page--http://www.onagocag.com/index2.html
Bog Body links--http://www.archaeology.org/magazine.php?page=online/features/bog/index
on bronze casting using accurate historical methods!
Bronze Age Living in the Netherlands,
by Jeroen Zuiderwijk--http://1500bc.com/bronzeage/index_eng.html
Native Way-- http://www.nativewayonline.com/
Sinew, gut, flint items, knapping materials and tools, books, etc.
Moscow Hide and Fur--PO Box
Moscow, Idaho 83843. 208-882-0601. http://www.hideandfur.com/
Leather, hides, etc.
Other historical websites by Matthew Amt, in chronological order:
Fleckinger, Angelika, and Steiner, Hubert. The Iceman
3rd edition, Vienna: Folio Verlag Bolzano, 2000. ISBN
3-85256-100-0. A thin paperback booklet, but an excellent
overview with great photos and drawings.
Fowler, Brenda. Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of a
Prehistoric Man Found in an Alpine Glacier
New York: Random House. Also has excellent illustrations, as well
as very revealing information about the "behind the scenes" politics
and science surrounding the Iceman's recovery and study.
Spindler, Konrad. The Man in the Ice
. Translated by Ewald
Osers. New York: Harmony Books, 1994. ISBN
0-517-79969-3. "The" book, of course, since Spindler was one of
the lead scientists on the Iceman team. A little out of date by
now, and includes a few theories about the man and his death which are
no longer cosidered viable. A revised edition may be in the works.
The Usual: Copyright Matthew Amt, 2005, may not be used for any
"for-profit" purpose without permission. I live in Laurel,
Maryland (USA), email matthew_amt AT yahooo DOT com (weird format to
try to avoid spambots!). (Please put something distinctive in the
subject line of your message, or I may delete it as spam!) I have
no connection to any museum or official Iceman organization,
unfortunately, just indulging in my latest passion as time and money
allow. I will be delighted to chat with you about making all this
stuff, but it's not likely that I'll be making anything to sell,
sorry. The whole point of doing the Iceman is to make the stuff
yourself, right? It's a learning thing!
This page last updated 12/2/06