Near Neanderthal, past and present

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

The Ice Man, the 5,200-year-old
set of remains found in the Italian Alps in
1991, was a vegetarian, University of
V i r g i n i a professor of environmental science
Stephen A. Macko on October 26 told the
annual conference of the Geological Society
of America. “You are what you eat, and
clues to what people ate thousands of years
ago are in their hair,” Macko explained to the
Toronto gathering. Analyzing the Ice Man’s
hair, Macko found that contrary to the initial
theory that he was a hunter, “There is little
evidence he ate meat––and that was true for
some significant time, at least months if not
years before his death.”

Macko’s findings coincide with
analysis of the Ice Man’s teeth. The Ice Man
was not a strict vegan, however: he wore a
goatskin jacket and carried a leather pouch.
He also had implements originally understood
as weapons––but his bow was reportedly not
strung, and his arrows had no points. They
may have been used not for hunting or fighting,
but for fire-starting, using the bow-anddrill
method also practiced by Native
Americans. The Ice Man’s ax may have been
used to gather fuel, to dig for edible roots,
and perhaps as an aid in climbing to the
height at which he evidently froze to death.
Correspondent Andrew Nagorski
reported in the October 12 edition of
Newsweek that German prime minister
Gerhard Schroder married his fourth wife in
October 1997 after Schroder and his third
wife, Hiltrud, “underwent an angry
divorce––with the press blaming the split
partly on his complaints about her vegetarian
cooking. Both sides denied they argued over
food, but she mocked the fact that ‘the poor
man…got no meat to chew on.’”

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