Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past

Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past

by James M. Deem
     
 

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In 1991, mountain climbers on the Niederjoch Glacier on the Italian-Austrian border came across something unexpected: a body. It had been a very warm summer, and five bodies had already turned up in the area. But something here was different. The materials found with the body suggested it might be very old, perhaps from the 1800s. But radiocarbon dating proved

Overview


In 1991, mountain climbers on the Niederjoch Glacier on the Italian-Austrian border came across something unexpected: a body. It had been a very warm summer, and five bodies had already turned up in the area. But something here was different. The materials found with the body suggested it might be very old, perhaps from the 1800s. But radiocarbon dating proved the iceman was 5,300 years older, from the Copper Age. He was named Ötzi and he is the oldest human mummy preserved in ice ever found.
 
In this Sibert Honor Book, James M. Deem takes us on a captivating and creepy journey to learn about glaciers, hulking masses of moving ice that are now offering up many secrets of the past.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An intriguing read, complementing the author's highly commended Bodies from the Bog (1998) and Bodies from the Ash (2005), with a bonus environmental message."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"There are books about melting glaciers and books about frozen bodies, but this attractive offering combines the topics in a way that will intrigue readers . . . Heavily illustrated with historical memorabilia as well as photos of bodies, scenery, artifacts, and rather simplistic maps, this offers a lot to look at and learn about."--Booklist

"With its extensive bibliography, suggested Web sites, and a listing of glaciers to visit, Bodies is a fantastic resource. Deem superbly weaves diverse geographical settings, time periods, and climate issues into a readable work that reveals the increasing interdisciplinary dimensions of the sciences."--School Library Journal, starred review

"Glaciers—and the preserved past they offer up—give us an intriguing peek into various cultures, yielding information on everything from human sacrifice to occult superstition to sporting endeavors. As the book concludes, a striking irony becomes evident: glaciers continue to melt at an alarming rate, warranting caution and concern for the global environment, yet even as they dwindle they offer up more clues to our human past. The book design, with its variety of photographs, captions, and sidebars, seals the appeal."--Horn Book

Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
The body of the iceman was found by a couple climbing in the mountains of northern Italy, near the Austrian border in 1991. It was later determined to be the body of a man who had lived about 5,300 years earlier. An Austrian newspaper named the iceman Otzi for the Otztal Alps where the body had been found. This story will command the attention of young students, and they will learn other fascinating facts as the author explains the movement of glaciers and how over the years, many artifacts, as well as bodies, have been found as the ice shifts and melts. Many of the photographs and illustrations show the dangers that mountain climbers faced, and several of the chapters tell of climbers who perished while facing the challenges of such endeavors. The format will keep the reader interested in the ecology of the areas as well as the stories of the individuals involved. The book closes with advice on ways to help the environment and a long listing of websites for further research. A list of glaciers to visit is also included. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

Deem's lucid account explores mummified remains recovered from several glacial locations and time periods. The many discoveries presented include the famous 5300-year-old Alpine Iceman Ötzi, the mummified Incan children of the Andes Mountains, and the identification of George Mallory's body on Mount Everest. The background and methodology of glaciology are examined, as are relevant issues in climate change and archaeology; historical photographs of glaciers are compared to modern photographs of the same, much-receded ice. Full-color photographs, reproductions, and maps are clearly captioned; grand images of glaciated mountain peaks span entire pages, and detailed pictures of recovered objects, including the mummies themselves, the Iceman's ax, and surviving fabric fragments are presented. To nitpick one point, Deem states that scientists "don't understand" why the Ice Age glaciers retreated, instead of mentioning the Milankovitch cycles as a consensus explanation. Nonetheless, this volume provides updated information, including new insights into the causes of the Iceman Ötzi's death. With its extensive bibliography, suggested Web sites, and a listing of glaciers to visit, Bodies is a fantastic resource. Deem superbly weaves diverse geographical settings, time periods, and climate issues into a readable work that reveals the increasing interdisciplinary dimensions of the sciences.-Jeff Meyer, Slater Public Library, IA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618800452
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/06/2008
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
543,640
Product dimensions:
11.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
1180L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"An intriguing read, complementing the author's highly commended Bodies from the Bog (1998) and Bodies from the Ash (2005), with a bonus environmental message."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"There are books about melting glaciers and books about frozen bodies, but this attractive offering combines the topics in a way that will intrigue readers . . . Heavily illustrated with historical memorabilia as well as photos of bodies, scenery, artifacts, and rather simplistic maps, this offers a lot to look at and learn about."—Booklist

"With its extensive bibliography, suggested Web sites, and a listing of glaciers to visit, Bodies is a fantastic resource. Deem superbly weaves diverse geographical settings, time periods, and climate issues into a readable work that reveals the increasing interdisciplinary dimensions of the sciences."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Glaciers—and the preserved past they offer up—give us an intriguing peek into various cultures, yielding information on everything from human sacrifice to occult superstition to sporting endeavors. As the book concludes, a striking irony becomes evident: glaciers continue to melt at an alarming rate, warranting caution and concern for the global environment, yet even as they dwindle they offer up more clues to our human past. The book design, with its variety of photographs, captions, and sidebars, seals the appeal."—Horn Book

Meet the Author


James M. Deem is the author of numerous books for young readers, including 3 NB of Julian Drew, Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Rediscovery of the Past, and Faces From the Past. Mr. Deem lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

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