Since his discovery in 1991 the iceman has been widely seen as meeting a dramatic end – mortally wounded by an arrow shot while attempting to flee through an Alpine pass. A careful study of all the located grave goods, here planned comprehensively for the first time, points strongly towards the scene as one of a ceremonial burial, subsequently dispersed by thawing and gravity. The whole assemblage thus takes on another aspect – not a casual tragedy but a mortuary statement of its day.
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