Wednesday, September 09, 2015

as glaciers melt

BBC article on bodies that flow down with slowly moving ice of glaciers in the Alps, and how some have recently been identified.

The normal time span for anything trapped in an Alpine glacier to be washed out is, he suggests, between 20 and 50 years, though it can take up to 100 years. The recent examples of Conville, Kobayashi and Oikawa are broadly line with this - it was 34 years in one case, and 44 in the other.
But this part is interesting:

In some areas, nails from Roman boots have been found

As well as Oetzi, the mummified 3,000-year-old man found near the border between Austria and Italy in 1991, 5,000-year-old items of clothing and household utensils have been found in the mountains south of Berne, shedding light on a Bronze-Age Alpine civilisation that was far more sophisticated than originally thought.
Hundreds of Roman shoe nails have emerged from the ice too. "That is really interesting," says Grosjean. "Each shoe nail has a kind of a bar code, showing the year it was made, where it was made, and whether these shoes were used for military troops for the Roman army, or for civilian shoes."

hmmm...wonder if they'll find the remains of the thousands of men and a couple elephants who died crossing the Alps with Hannibal.

1984 NYT on Hannibal's lost elephants. Local elephants from the Atlas Mountains or imported from India? Only one survived the trip from Spain over the Alps to Italy.

More HERE.

Men on foot usually panicked at the sight of the huge ferocious bellowing elephants, who had archers on their back. Closest thing to a tank in the ancient world.


Roman discipline enabled them to be neutralized:

Faced with the choice of smashing into the heavily armed legionnaires or running unimpeded through the gaps in their formations, most of the elephants took the path of least resistance and passed harmlessly through the Roman army. Others, frightened by the blasts of massed Roman trumpeters, ran down their own cavalry.

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