Analysing the Intestinal Contents of Ancient Icemen (Ítzi and Long Ago Person Found): Revealing Itineraries and Domiciles

Dickson, J.H. (1), Mudie, P.J. (2), and Hebda, R. (3)
    (1) Div. of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, IBLS Graham Kerr Building, University of Glasgow , Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK. gbty08@udcf.gla.ac.uk
    (2) Geological Survey of Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    (3) Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, British Columbia

The study of the microscopic and macroscopic plant contents of the alimentary canals of frozen mummies can reveal not just the composition of the last meals but potentially help to elucidate the last itineraries and domiciles of the deceased. This is discussed with relevance to two icemen: Ítzi, the 5,300 year old man from the Alps, and Long Ago Person Found, the 550 year old man from northernmost British Columbia. In the case of Ítzi was his domicile to the north or south and which valley did he travel through? In the case of Long Ago Person Found, did he come from the coast or from the interior? Chenopodiaceae pollen, particularly new SEM studies of saltmarsh and salt desert Salicornia species are crucial in making this decision.