|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
The ICEMAN Had More Than Just Icy Blood In His Veins
Milk did not kill the Iceman, but his 25-year-old body, preserved and mummified for more than 50 centuries inside of a glacier, died with severe arthritis and heart disease. Did all sheepherders suffer a similar fate as a result of their dairy diets? In 1991, the Iceman became an overnight sensation. The well- preserved corpse of a 5300-year-old man was found in a melting glacier between Italy and Austria. Besides his stash of hallucinogenic mushrooms, and a torso that was liberally ornamented with tattoos, the man's body had many things to teach 21st century man about life long ago. Archeological coroners have determined many things about the man's way of life. Teams of investigative forensic scientists and paleobotanists have found microscopic bacteria and pollens from hop blossoms, proving that the man did not vanish in the middle of winter as had been previously theorized. In fact, an arrow to his back and other factors may be evidence that the Iceman was a sacrifice. This investigation and analyses would make for a fascinating episode of the hit CBS TV show, CSI. The 5300-year-old Iceman wore leather underwear and outer garments fashioned from animal skins. One conclusion shocked even the pathobiologists. That one conclusion remains perfectly clear. Based upon stomach contents (fibers of meat) and artifacts found in his backpack, and a rigorous examination of the man's internal organs, it was observed that the man had "abnormally hardened arteries, due no doubt to his unhealthily high-cholesterol diet." Although there is some controversy, one of the lead investigators, Konrad Spindler believes that the man was a shepherd. He believes that the Iceman perished in a summer storm while searching for one of the sheep that he herded. Apparently, his diet consisted of ovine milk, and lots of it. The Iceman also had severe arthritis and diarrhea. Perhaps sacrifice of a man with severe illnesses was society's antibiotic pill. Such was the fate of pre-historic men who drank diseased body fluids from other mammals. I just finished reading Brenda Fowler's ICEMAN. On page 151. Here's where it got very interesting for me. A CAT scan revealed that part of the Iceman's brain suggested signs of a stroke. Here is what the author writes: "The CAT scans revealed a heavily calcified region in what was probably the man's abdominal aorta-the largest artery in the body, at the point where it breaks into the main vessels that go to the legs-as well as in the carotid artery, which carries blood from the heart to the neck. This was a clear sign of arteriosclerosis-hardened arteries-a condition that occurs when plaques adhere to the walls of the arteries, partly blocking the flow of blood...but the iceman was not very old, and zur Nedden was amazed at how much plaque had already accumulated." Milk and Heart Disease, see: http://www.notmilk.com/h.html The age of the man was estimated to be between 25 and 30. Severe arthritis. Heart disease. Diarrhea. Milk drinker. Makes sense to me. After all, a sheepherder would be drinking lots of saturated animal fat and cholesterol in the milk from the sheep that he herded. Very little has changed in 53 centuries.
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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