Monday, 24 October 2016

Presentation: Glacial Archaeology in South-Tyrol

During the last "Frozen Pasts" conference, taken place in Innsbruck (A) from 12. to 16. October, we have presented - charged by the Cultural Heritage Department of South-Tyrol - the most important glacial sites discovered during the last 25 years in this region.

25 years ago, the dicovery of the iceman „Ötzi“ marked the beginning of a new discipline of archaeological research and cultural heritage preservation in South-Tyrol: The glacial archaeology.

Since than the Department of Archaeological Heritage has been focusing on several new high altitude sites, detected and reported exclusively by private persons: Leggings, socks and residues of shoes from the Iron Age on the Rieserferner (2.841 m Puster Valley).

For some years we have been investigating at the Langgrubenjoch (3.017 m Schnals Valley) remains of leather, pelt, and a wooden belt hook dating from the Copper Age, residues of a wooden building (roofing shingles made of larch) from the Bronze Age and other wooden findings from the Roman Age. Frequent visits to the main Alpine ridge since prehistory are documented by new finds on the Gurgler Eisjoch (3.134 m Schnals Valley).

Glacial archaeology meets modern conflict archaeology on the highest mountain group of the South-Tyrolean territory:

From the Stilfserjoch to Mt. Cevedale we have to deal with the remains of the frontline of WW1 between 1915 and 1918. Even the highest peaks like Mt. Ortler (3.905m) and Königspitze (3.851m) were permanently occupied by Austro-Hungarian and Italian mountain troops.

100 years later climate change uncover extraordinarily well preserved materials and structures which give us new insights into events and every day life on the high altitude positions.

Here is the presentation together with the live-recording of the talk.

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