Bolzano – Mountaineers made a sensational archaeological discovery in Lodner in July, a special laboratory in Belfast has now confirmed as a result of radiocarbon analysis: ibex bones are 7000 years old.
Four mountaineers – Stefan Pirpalmer, Tobias Brunner, Arno Ebnicher and Luca Mercuri – found the remains of at least 15 ibex on the Lodner summit plateau (3228 m) in the Texel group in early July. They reported the discovery to the St. Leonhard/Passier Forest Station, and foresters inspected the site and recovered the remains. Parts of the bones, skulls and remains of fur were given to the Edmund Mack Foundation in San Michele.
1700 years older than Otsi
As paleontological discoveries had already been made in the vicinity, it was assumed that this find might also be of archaeological interest. Under the direction of Heidi Christine Hauf and Matteo Girardi, the remains were examined at the Special Gene Laboratory in San Michele and finally transferred to the Special Laboratory for Radiocarbon Methods at Queen’s University in Belfast (Ireland). Now the result is known: the remains are probably about 7018 years old – this information fluctuates up or down by 37 years. Thus, ibex lived in the New Stone Age (Neolithic). They are 1,700 years older than the “Iceman” Ötzi, discovered in 1991 at Hauslabjoch on the border between the Schnalz and Otsthal valleys.
“Findings like this are good news. We will now let science do its work and give the discoverers their rightful place,” says Arno Kompatscher, the governor responsible for museums and research in the state government.
The remains of the ibex are currently kept safe at the St. Leonhard Forest Station and will soon be handed over to the Department of Archaeology. A working group led by the Natural History Museum has already been formed. She decides on the next steps: what further investigations should be conducted, who should conduct them, where and how the remains should be stored. Deciding where to display Neolithic remains is a split second.
Posted by: Luke
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