August 27, 2004

WW1 soldiers found frozen in glacier

An amateur Italian historian has found the preserved bodies of three Austro-Hungarian soldiers in an Alpine glacier, 86 years after they were killed in World War I.

Maurizio Vicenzi, president of a local war museum, said yesterday the three were likely killed in a battle to retake the peak of San Matteo on Sept. 3, 1918, when Austro-Hungarian troops were repelled by Italian fire as they left their mountaintop trenches.

Full story here; and the find is of wider interest than first appeared:
Experts who examined the body of Otzi, the ice man who died in the Italian Alps 5300 years ago, have been given three months to investigate another body from the same place.

The second body is one of three soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian empire who died in battle on September 3, 1918, 3684m metres up in the Italian Alps.

One of the three experts, Dr Alex Susanna, director of the South Tyrol Archeological Museum in Bolzano, where Otzi is displayed, said: "Until now all comparative studies have been between Otzi and artificial mummies. Now we have a natural mummy, preserved like Otzi above 3000m, in very low temperatures and with strong winds and in humid conditions. We want to compare the body tissue of the two mummies". . .

The experts will be trying to establish why Otzi retained his hair and nails for 5300 years, while the Austrians lost theirs in less than 90.

Posted by David on August 27, 2004 5:36 PM

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