September 28th, 2009 03:47 EST
History of War, The Dawning, Part 1
History of War, The Dawning, Part 1
[The beginning of a lifelong series. There will be some bouncing around from the ancient to more recent violence.]
We first explore. War may follow. We seek an edge and invent.
Wolves hunt. Killer whales [orcas] eat the tongues out of greater sea mammals, once majestic, now rendered to gargantuan feasts. The mother whales, determined to protect their calves, seek to swim between their enemies and their precious ones who look on with mournful cries. The sea runs red with blood, first the mother`s and then a scarlet of youthful innocence. [Some try to whitewash the truth about orcas ", but I saw it happen once. As an indignant eight year old, I demanded that the captain lead us in defending the whales. Our best weapons aboard were fishing poles. The captain told me that there was nothing we could do.]
Violence, a way of life in this world, this jumble of blessings and curses. No beast on earth does it like man, who organizes wars like the ant and brings down the strong like killer whales -- the worst in every beast, that is man during war. Either from dark imaginations or from fear, man has conceived of terrors that ultimately split the atom. Nuclear proliferation spreads from one lunatic to the next like a rash. While the wicked openly lust for doom, the United Nations wallows in disgrace, corruption, and a madness of its own.
It`s inevitable -- any year now, war will shake the world in a way that will make Truman look like a cub scout. The only hope of minimizing the damage and risk is to understand history.
We explore; we war; we invent.
Invention " and discovery ", they`re joined at the hip and often seem to blur. What is the difference between invention " and exploration "? Inventors explore the familiar. To adventure into unknown lands and waters -- that is thrilling. An inventor walls himself [or herself] in. But those who can make extraordinary discoveries of the ordinary "? More telling results are yielded.
History is fascinating, and yet too many historians are boors. They get excited over cracked pottery and architecture. [Bless them, they advance understanding.] For most of us, we want to read about adventure [only natural]. As much as possible, I will turn my adventure writer`s eye toward the adventurous side of history: violence, inventions that aid violence, exploration [where I can], and commerce that unleashes the power to conquer. Unlike fiction books, history has a special edge -- the suspense and wonder of reality.
One may ask: Why bother? " If threat of nuclear proliferation is not enough, there are other reasons -- these three concepts [war, exploration, invention] are all-encompassing. With regard to invention, that`s a no-brainer ". As for the other two:
How well do people explore before they move to a new home? How well do people anticipate home invasions? How do termites explore and invade? How do drug pushers explore and conquer? Do we defend our bodies well enough against illness and cholesterol? More importantly -- do we explore and conquer our own personal faults?
I don`t care if you are Napoleon, Alexander, or Jenghis Khan: no one understands these three concepts enough [I am certainly no exception either].
We start with the Stone Age, but briefly. It is more prehistoric than I would like. We could ponder over cave paintings and their stick figures -- hunters and warriors with bows and spears. We could learn from Native Americans and Aborigines. Speaking of Aborigines, they were the first known people to develop organized warfare some time prior to 9997 B.C.:
The most fun way might be to watch "The Gods Must Be Crazy" and "The Gods Must Be Crazy II". If you prefer the risque: "Quest for Fire" and "Hannah of the Cave Bear". But for now, here are two battles " that help put the Stone Age in perspective.
After the Tsunami of 2004, a helicopter flew over some primitive islanders [I think it was New Guinea]. They wondered if any of the natives survived the deadly tidal wave. When they saw spears being thrown up at them, the pilots were relieved. Yep, at least one tribe survived. That`s the first battle ". The next one will be less comic.
[I will leave out a few details for later in the series.]
Another account, not so recent, was a sea captain who did battle with primitive islanders. He had the most modern weaponry and armor of his time -- weapons of black powder, steel breast plates, steel helmets, and swords. Commander of three ships, he sailed in uncharted waters. [His chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, referred to him as `captain`.] His terrifying thunder magic [cannons and muskets] cowed all he met. They thought the captain was a messenger of the gods [if not a god himself]. He converted great chieftains and their wives to Christianity. Tribute drew to him like a magnet, all part of his plan. It was important to keep them acting this way after he left. More ships could return and profit from the islanders` awe.
But there was one who defied the captain -- Chief Lapu-Lapu of Mactan Island. The captain decided to make a show of force. A few blasts from his thunder sticks, and he hoped to resolve the matter in a tidy manner. He sailed for Mactan and found his sea vessels obstructed by coral barriers.
The ships anchored so far from shore that not even his long range mortars could be of any use. It was a bad start. They boarded boats and rowed, but the turbulent waves threatened to dash them against the jagged coral. They were still two crossbow shots " away from shore. He left eleven men behind to guard the boats.
Forty nine men in gleaming breast plates and proud helmets waded through the water. Gulls cried; breakers crashed. Pagan savages awaited them, defying their Christian "superiority". God was on their side. The Almighty had blessed them with the most terrifying weapons in Creation. Heaven itself shook from their ships` broadsides. Pitiful pagans were clearly to blame, or so they thought as they waded well over a hundred paces, what must have seemed like half a mile, to reach dry land. Their melee weapons were lances, swords, and axes. Some bore shields. Their long range weapons were muskets and crossbows.
The watery march was uneventful. They saw dozens of island huts, and then they beheld what they were up against -- three groups of tribesmen, each five hundred strong. Upon seeing these men of steel, the islanders shouted and charged.
The Europeans murmured prayers and repented their sins one last time, recalling naked images and knowing eyes that had enticed them into beastly acts, the kind of sins that would have shocked the most jaded European. Some were haunted by visions of ravaged girls bleeding and weeping at their feet -- those men feared the damnation that awaited them. They were faced with their mortality. Musketeers and crossbowmen patted their weapons for reassurance. Swords sang from scabbards. They called out battle cries for God and King. They braced themselves for the worst. Before the natives even reached an effective range, they opened fire. Muskets thundered and flashed. Dark, sulfurous clouds blew off in the salty wind. The savages might flee -- one could hope, but they refused to. They kept rushing toward the steel invaders. Primitive cries in an alien tongue drowned out all other distant sounds. Arrows flew at them. Groups of savages ran up to throw spears and rocks. The battle lasted for five minutes, ten minutes, and still they fought. Arrows kept flying; muskets kept blasting. Steel met bamboo.
For what seemed like half an hour, musketeers and crossbowmen fired at the natives. The islanders made themselves difficult targets when they saw one of them take aim in their direction. They dodged and jerked about, covering themselves with their shields. Loud bangs from the muskets seemed like powerful magic. The hiss of invisible spells " mainly pierced the islanders` shields. Cannons thundered impotently from the ships. While out of range, perhaps they could play on the primitives` ignorance. The superstitious " savages discounted the faraway roars as irrelevant. These ferocious natives seemed to let nothing dampen their courage. The sea captain was disappointed to see that his thunder magic did nothing to cower them. He called out, "Cease fire! Cease fire!" His crossbowmen and musketeers ignored him. They kept reloading and firing again. Their primitive foe began shouting louder and more savagely. The armored men had an achilles heel as it were; the islanders aimed only at their bare legs.
Outnumbered thirty to one, the men of steel thought they were fighting a pitched battle. The bobbing boats behind were tiny in the distance. Their anchored ships were like a faraway dream.
Here was what they faced. Many of the primitives did not even have stone spear heads. They simply had stakes hardened by burning, or they turned bamboo poles into spears by sharpening the ends. They even threw rocks. Armed with those crude weapons [many not even rising to the level of the Stone Age], the primitive islanders confronted the steel gods ". There were some stone spear heads though. A few had metal weapons, strange looking swords that resembled cutlasses, and some spears were tipped with iron. They also used bows. At the first sight of European blood, the islanders realized that these men of steel were not gods, no their flesh could be pierced. But this was not an all-out battle.
For the first half hour, Lapu-Lapu held most of his Mactan warriors back. He was testing out his enemy, watchful and waiting. While the sea captain hoped to intimidate these primitives, Chief Lapu-Lapu was hoping to scare these strange gods " away without killing any of them. Evil magic was afoot. Lapu-Lapu kept hearing hissing sounds near him. Most of those magic spells punched holes into shields. A few times, someone near him would fall injured for no apparent reason. It was bullets whizzing close to the chief. Muskets at that time were inaccurate. He had little idea what his foe was capable of, what wild rumors were actually true. Time was on the islanders` side; they were wearing the gods " down. Time also allowed the natives to see how un- god "-like these invaders were.
After half an hour of fighting and no end in sight, the captain called out, Some of you men, burn the village! That might make them fearful. " A detachment ran off and burned dozens of huts before Mactan natives intervened. A side skirmish broke out. The raiders were too scattered to hold a tight formation, were more vulnerable. The furious islanders slew two before the rest of the steel gods " retreated back to the main group.
The islanders wondered, Are these gods or demons? " The tribesmen of Mactan were enraged. Bowmen, buoyed by lethal intent, moved in closer and shot with greater accuracy. Spearmen rushed in with heightened ferocity. An arrow flew into the captain`s leg. He staggered, believing that it was poisoned. He told his men to draw back slowly.
One steady step at a time, the armored invaders gradually retreated until they were in the sea "more than a good crossbow flight" from shore; water was up to their knees. The natives hounded them, picking spears back up to throw again and again. The island defenders began to concentrate on the captain. Their attacks on the armored mens` leader became so fierce that they knocked the helmet from the captain`s head twice. Most of the mariners bolted. Only half a dozen of the bravest remained with their commander. The captain wielded a lance. He and his few stalwarts were now unable to retreat any further. The natives` attacks were so constant that they were held at bay.
Antonio Pigafetta lost track of time. It seemed to continue this way for an hour, a half dozen men [most injured by now] against 1,500 spear throwing and arrow shooting foes. A spear was stuck in the captain`s right arm, and still he fought. At point blank range, someone threw a bamboo spear in the commander`s face. He jabbed his lance into his antagonist a little too hard. The lance was stuck in the body. Losing his weapon, the captain tried to draw his sword, but the spear in his arm had damaged his muscles so much that only part of the blade slid out from its scabbard. The islanders noticed this weakness. In a frenzy, they "hurled themselves upon him". One of them, armed with a sword, hacked at his leg. A flurry of spears and swords followed. The slain captain kept looking back at his men before he died. Antonio Pigafetta thought he saw fatherly courage in his expression. He lamented that they "killed our mirror, our light ... "
The survivors fled as best they could to the boats and rowed back to the protection of the ships. The battle was over.
They sailed back to a friendly island and the crew was invited to a feast by a subservient chieftain. It was a trap. Most of the sailors at the feast were lethally poisoned in revenge for the rape of native women.
Some of the armored invaders were captured. A future explorer from the West offered to pay a ransom for their release, but the prisoners had already been sold to Chinese traders as slaves. The captain had given a large cross as a gift to one of the more submissive chieftains. It was later used for firewood. Lapu-Lapu was revered by all neighboring islands for the rest of his days. He and his men had faced down an overwhelming technological advantage. Many of his fellow chiefs had first believed these men of steel to be gods. He saw greed and tyranny. He did try to improve his island`s defense as best he could with iron -- it was not as though he looked down on military development. His courage is a testimony of the human spirit. A statue was later erected in Chief Lapu-Lapu`s honor. The West`s image in these islands was shattered and remains so to this day.
Lessons to be learned:
1. Victory is more important than momentary image.
2. Gather intel before committing yourself to battle.
3. Never assume that your enemy will immediately cower before you.
The captain had not gathered proper intel about the island and its tricky shore. He announced that he would attack and felt obligated to press forward once that announcement was made. He put himself on an artificial deadline. His failure was completely self-imposed.
4. Discipline is crucial. The rape of the native women was almost as disastrous as losing a battle.
5. Petty vandalism will most likely backfire. Burning the huts made the islanders suspect impotent desperation and a willingness to impose one`s will through tyranny.
Could the captain have defeated them? Most likely. Any modern officer [worthy of the rank] could have planned out a smashing victory with the same men and weapons. But it would require careful preparation and time to take full advantage of his strengths. The ships were virtually invulnerable [unless Lapu-Lapu could have planned for a night raid]. Supplies were not a problem either. Perhaps they might have constructed barges to bring in cannons loaded with grape shot, devastating at close range. It would have meant careful soundings of the coral and rocks. A single mortar brought near shore would have been a serious problem for the islanders. But the captain was not a modern officer. He was a seafaring pioneer. Battles such as this must be pondered at length before military academies can perfect their training.
- - -
Change in the Stone Age began at a snail`s pace. I looked over a couple timelines to demonstrate. In one, here is the first major clue of progress:
30000 B.C.: Ivory horse is carved in what is now Vogelherd, Germany - the oldest known animal carving of mammoth ivory [snip]
There is a 21,000 year gap between that and the first known copper artifact dated at 9000 B.C.
- - -
After copper, timeline events quicken.
Factoids from the second timeline web page: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/timeline/time0002.htm
7000 B.C. -- Clay baking [important for clay pot storage].
6000 B.C. -- Bows common in Europe.
5000 B.C. -- Irrigation along the Nile.
That is it -- all the major discoveries for the next four thousand years after copper was discovered. While slow, note that this is much faster than a 21,000 year gap. I believe that seeing copper sparked the imagination. Smelting copper may also have led to learning how to bake clay. Another point worth noting is the location of the Middle East. It is the hub of the Old World, connecting Africa, Asia, and Europe. Different cultures converged here and exposed each other to new viewpoints and strange " traditions. It makes sense that copper was first discovered in the Middle East, as well as irrigation.
Irrigation is major:
1. Once there is a variety in cultures, people look at things in a more multi-faceted way.
2. Brain activity drops when hunger slows down one`s metabolism. More consistent food alleviates that.
3. Less time scrounging for food allows us more time to think creatively and to learn from each other.
4. The more rapidly change brings optimism, the more our attitudes improve toward new ideas [not to be confused with negative change which triggers negative thought patterns].
- - -
The Copper Age
It began separately in different parts of the earth, but where first? J.H. Breasted speculated that copper was possibly discovered first in Sinai. [Copper ore is common there.] According to Breasted, a simple campfire could have been the source, bordered by a ring of rocks [to shield the fire from the wind and reflect the heat]. A stone containing copper deposits likely had been placed in such a ring. With enough heat in the right place, the copper would melt out and glitter in the sunlight the following morning.
The dawning of a new age is far from tidy, particularly in the distant past of prehistory: most of the great explorers, inventors, and war lords are lost in the mist of myth and legend. But there are hints of how the Copper Age arose to eclipse the Stone Age.
Yes, there was a Copper Age prior to the better known Bronze Age. Some have written that the Bronze Age came almost immediately after the Copper Age. That probably stems from the best educated guess made by historians past.
Conquest of Civilization [J.H. Breasted], page 30. He wrote about a copper pin found in Egypt and added, It is impossible to determine its date with any exactness, but it can hardly be much later than the fifth millennium B.C. " He went on to wonder if it might have been an Egyptian who first discovered copper. That was written in 1938. Now we have beads in Iraq dated back to 9000 B.C. [No matter how dedicated earlier researchers were to the truth, they simply lacked the technology. I`m amazed at how much they did get right.]
It is not so clear now what qualifies as Copper Age anymore. In the Middle East, copper was first a tightly held secret known only by wizards and shamans for 4,500 years. Europe was also exposed to copper mysticism for thousands of years. That`s a long time, especially bearing in mind that knowledge of copper mining spread across continents to different remote spots. [The next time someone tells you that military secrets can`t be kept, it might be good to remember that.] The early smelters spread rumors about copper until people thought it was divine, especially with regard to goddesses. It is even possible for a mystic to convince himself [or herself] that she [or he] had a vision.
A famous copper mystery is Ã–tzi the Iceman. [The word, Ã–tzi, is difficult for English keyboards to spell. You might find it spelled Otzi or Oetzi.]
It was the name given to a frozen body dated back to 3200 B.C. [referred to as being mummified]. His ice-stored remains were found near a copper axe. For those who do not know it, modern forensics has uncovered clues of his adventurous end. The first surprise is not what it might seem: his hair indicated a high level of arsenic. Was Ã–tzi poisoned? Another clue in his hair -- high levels of copper. This is the thing about copper smelting: it releases arsenic gas. Ã–tzi was a primitive copper smelter who walked among people with stone tipped weapons. [He himself used flint arrowheads.]
Before forensics uncovered important clues, there was speculation that he might have been a shepherd or goat herder. But no, he was a shaman or wizard who had other tricks up his sleeve besides copper. He was also a warrior. What wars did this man fight in? Did he lead any armies? Did he gain renown? Could he have been later worshiped as a mythical god? Or did he simply fade in some remote village and become forgotten within a couple generations? Due to modern technology, some of these questions have actually been answered [at least in part].
Another copper axe showed up that was even older, found in Prokuplje [Serbia], dated back to 5,500 B.C. Copper use in Europe remained virtually unchanged for a very long time.
Copper weapons were not much of an improvement over stone weapons. New copper does, however, capture light well and dazzle the primitive eye. That, I believe, is the primary purpose of a copper axe. While easily nicked, it can chop perfectly well in a pinch, but the true advantage is the weapon`s mysteriousness.
Also known as the Iceman, he was 45 or 46 years old, downright venerable back then. He wore goatskin leggings, loincloth, and poncho. He crowned his head with a bear fur cap. He had birch fungus known to be antibacterial, even long after the mushroom has been harvested. To start fires, he kept dry tinder and made sparks with flint and pyrite.
His shoes were so ingenious that modern shoemakers have been studying them: bearskin soles, deerskin insteps, and chamois/cow/calf/lindenbark uppers. The uppers were worn with fur on the outside and laced up. " Tree bark and soft grass insulated his feet. [The grass also acted as socks.]
He wore a grass mat [originally thought to be a cape] which was probably used as a crude hood/umbrella to shield him from freezing rain, sleet, and regular rain. [Wet clothes can be dangerous in a cold snap.]
He ate einkorn [primitive wheat] and large amounts of meat [his cholesterol level was high].
Forensic evidence confirms what we already assume -- he walked so much that he suffered arthritis. His body was covered with fifty seven tattoos. That was a primitive form of therapy, possibly along the same lines as acupuncture.
He had a six foot longbow [unfinished]. I would guess that he needed to know the two-finger draw while many cultures throughout the world relied on pinching the bowstring with their thumbs [and were unable to draw such a powerful bow]. The primitive arrows had the traditional three feathers. [Harm Paulson pointed out in a Nova interview that, just like rifling, three feathers cause a spiral of the shaft which increases accuracy and range. Today`s rockets also have three wings.] So not only did he have a copper axe, the Iceman held one of the most powerful weapons of his day.
I find the possession of a 3,200 B.C. longbow even more profound than his copper axe. This man seemed to know all the tricks -- the secrets of copper smelting, the longbow, and antibiotic mushrooms. Ã–tzi was not your run-of-the-mill primitive.
People might wonder why such a powerful weapon could exist in the Alps in 3200 B.C. and then practically vanish, only to be found over a thousand years later in Wales. My guess is aristocratic fear. The nobility is never comfortable with riffraff owning powerful long range weapons [nor is the aristocracy]. It would take special leaders to notice opportunity where so many others saw only danger [more on that later]. Frequently outlawed, the longbow endured through huntsmen, poachers, rebels, and perhaps the occasional highwayman. Even a barbarian chieftain would likely resent hostile members of his village owning longbows. How can he claim his right of primae noctis with arrows aimed at his head?
The Iceman`s gear included a leather utility belt with tools and a frame backpack. Ã–tzi had eighteen varieties of wood, such as a yew axe handle, hazel backpack frame, ash dagger handle. This hints at trade and specialized craftsmanship. It also reveals that these barbarians had detailed knowledge about wood.
A nearby primitive community was five miles south of where the Iceman was found. Castle Juval was later constructed near there. Forensics continues to paint a clearer picture: he was raised near the present village of Feldthurns, north of Bolzano ". He later moved to valleys about 50 km further north ".
His body was found along an ancient shepherd path. There is speculation that he might have been a shepherd on top of everything else. What killed this man? He did not starve. Early forensics evidence pointed to him suffering from frostbite and apparently freezing to death. With his fire making skills, it would have taken a freak cold snap to catch him sleeping, or a sudden ice storm. With basic wood lore, one can find dry leaves, pine needles, and wood under snow [and shield the fire with a makeshift shelter]. I do not think many people were truly comfortable with contingencies of how the Iceman might have frozen to death.
Clues later revealed that he was in a violent struggle. His longbow, for example, was unfinished. How did his earlier bow get damaged? He had a wound in his hand and wrist that was deep ". The angle of the wound indicates that it was a defensive injury. He had been in a fight at least two days prior to his death.
His quiver was full. That could made it seem that he must have won at least one fight. Someone in retreat does not have a chance to retrieve arrows and to keep his quiver full. But that was not the case -- only two of his fourteen arrows were finished. He was very busy carving his arrows and a longbow every time he stopped to rest his feet. I doubt he even had much sleep. The Iceman was being pursued, and it was a long chase. Heaven knows how many times he evaded trackers.
The next serious wound he suffered was an arrow that hit him from behind at an extreme angle [his left shoulder near his armpit]. He was probably climbing when shot. It pierced an artery; the wound was serious. While the shaft was gone, the arrowhead remained in him.
There are other quotes about possible mace attacks. Some mention him being bludgeoned in the face, but one quote is more detailed, of him being hit by a blunt object a few centimeters below the arrow wound. If someone in fact struck him there, and if the arrowhead was left and no shaft remained in his body, then I believe both wounds were related. During a skirmish, arrow retrieval must often be done swiftly. It would make sense for an enemy to hit his victim with a club or mace near the arrow while yanking at the shaft. [Not something a kind and sensible friend would do.] This also helps ensure that your enemy does not recover -- two birds with one blow. If he were unconscious or stunned, playing dead was easy. Stone arrowheads do not always leave a wound when you pull out the shaft. Sometimes, you need to dig it out with a knife if you have the time. [If, on the other hand, part of the shaft remained in his body, then this speculation is incorrect.]
But that brings up a new question: why did his enemy not loot him? I could understand not stealing a longbow -- maybe only a few people knew the two-finger draw. [The longbow was unfinished regardless.] But why not steal the copper axe? If this sheer speculation is correct, he might have cried out when the arrow was yanked [giving away his ruse]; he then had to fight off his foe while in an injured state. After such a struggle, he might have felt compelled to move a little further to hide before collapsing. Suffering from shock and loss of blood, he suffered cardiac arrest and died with a flint knife in his hand like a Viking warrior [though the Viking gesture " might have been a basic desire to remain armed].
Actually, the Alpine people of his time were sentimental about death. This webpage ...
... discusses "Stelae" and burial sites such as Remedello Sotto. "Its 124 separate graves provide us with a wealth of artifacts, including beautiful flint blades, probably made just for the burials. An unusual silver pin and numerous arrows and metal weapons suggest to some scientists that no common men were buried here." [snip]
This might help explain why he was not looted. But I don`t know, it seems disrespectful to leave an unfinished bow and unfinished arrows as an offering [but I never intend to be knowledgeable about ancient graves].
One researcher even speculated that a comet scared his village into appeasing the gods by sacrificing him. Others wondered if he was shot by accident or if he fell on his own arrow.
Based on quoted DNA studies, one thing is now clear -- he was a formidable warrior. They found blood of other people on one of his flint arrowheads and his axe: not just a few but several ". If true, he had drawn blood from several other people.
I felt ready to conclude that this was a skirmish, unplanned and spontaneous. He was being chased in a struggle spanning for two days or longer, and his death, as far as I could guess, was an extension of that. But the mysteries continue.
Mystery of the Stele:
"Was the Iceman`s death carved on an ancient stone stele?"
"Dal Ri told a reporter that one part of the carved stele shows an archer ready to shoot an arrow on an unarmed man`s back [which bears] an impressive resemblance with Ã–tzi`s death." [snip]
"The stele was reported in Brenda Fowler`s book, Iceman." [snip]
The angle of the axe represented in the carving seemed oddly familiar to Hans Northdurfter; so did the location.
Seeking answers about the mysterious stele [or "statue-menhir"], I bumped into another mystery:
Curse of Oetzi?
"So far, seven people associated with the Iceman or his discoverers have died. When these deaths are added up and viewed together, some people have concluded that a Curse of Ã–tzi truly exists." [snip] The page goes on to describe them. [Coincidence? When I referred to him as a wizard or shaman, I did not expect to run into this.]
The Iceman was no goat herder: he was a warrior-shaman or warrior-wizard. He fought like a lion against those who hunted him. His name is now forgotten. The world of today named him Ã–tzi, which he would fail to recognize. His body was so covered with ice that people could not distinguish him from a lost hiker. Someone mistook his mighty longbow for a stick " and used the precious relic to pry the frozen body loose. Archaeologists scoured far and wide to find copper mines and smelting sites. Scientists studied his DNA, the partially digested food in his intestines, the particles in his hair. They gave him a brain scan. They examined his teeth with high tech equipment that most of us lay people are not even aware of. They studied pollen spores on his clothes. They used special lights to study his flesh. They even put the blood of his victims under microscopes. Nor will they ever cease a desire to study him more. He would have looked at them as strange aliens. He was brilliant in his day, privy to secrets that could have helped found a conquering empire. Fickle fate and Jack Frost conspired to make him what we all become -- a footnote in mystery`s endless realm. Perhaps some spirits of the Alps remember him, his true name, and the violence of his last deeds on earth. Even people in modern times now wonder if this ancient mummy has the power to curse them.
Conclusion: seeking answers, I am only left with stranger questions.
[ main source: http://www.viewzone.com/oetzi.html ]
- - - - -
While Europe was still frozen by copper mysticism, the metal had had already lost much of its mysteriousness in the Middle East for over a thousand years. Imagine that -- a thousand year lead. Archaeologists discovered the ancient Kirbat Hamra Ifdan foundry in southern Jordan [thirty miles from the Dead Sea]. The oldest known foundry of any kind, it dated back to 4500 B.C. Now truly known in one pinprick point of the world, the Copper Age had reached maturity in the Middle East.
Part 2, Land of the Civilized Lords, will be about the Sumerians, the first known civilization.