We have a distinguished scholar who has been leading high altitude archaeological projects in the Alps for many years. This should be an excellent talk, and while we had to schedule it during CUNY intersession we hope that you can make it anyway. It will be at Hunter (usual room) and refreshments will be provided.
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 3:30 pm, Room HN 710
Harald Stadler, Archaeology in the ice: Four post-medieval sites in the Tyrolean Alps. Possibilities and problems of frozen pasts in Austria.
Since the 19th century archaeological remains were recorded from the Austrian Glaciers. They date from the Neolithic period, the Early Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Medieval and Post Medieval Periods. Glaciers have also yielded historic finds and frozen human remains that are only a few hundred years old. Following the official statistics between 1989 and 2012 fourteen human bodies were found in the Tyrolean glaciers. These glacier corpses mainly include alpinists followed by hunters, poachers, crystal searchers, metal prospectors, shepherds, dairymaids, escaped criminals and displaced persons of war.
In this paper we discuss four sites in the western Alps of Austria which have brought forth post medieval archaeological finds from melting ice. First is the Niederjochferner at an altitude of 2980 m a.s.l. in the Ötztal region of the western Tyrolean Alps. It has yielded one of the earliest evidences of Neolithic human activity at high altitude in the Alps. In August 2003 nearby there was also found a recent horse with its halter or horse harness. In 1929 the Gradetzkees (3200 m a.s.l.) in the Granatspitzgroup of East-Tyrol set free a poacher from the 19th century with all his equipment. In the region of the Mittelbergferner, Ötztal valley, the corpse of Buonaventura Schaidnagel appeared in 2005 having been missed under mysterious circumstances since 1939. And the Umbalkees site (3200 m a.s.l.) in the Venedigergroup is particularly important for the modern history aeroplane archaeology of World War II, revealing an emergency landing of a Junkers 52d transporter in 1941.