By Gary Forsythe

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Since Luni sul Mignone is situated on the northern edge of the Tolfa-Allumiere Mountains of southern coastal Etruria, a region rich in copper, it is possible that these curious structures and the presence of Mycenaean pottery testify to the exploitation of mineral deposits and commercial interaction with the eastern Mediterranean during the late Bronze Age. Scoglio del Tonno, a headland in the harbor of Tarentum, the finest anchorage in Italy, seems to have served as a convenient port of call for eastern merchants and prospectors on their voyages in western waters.

Two mushrooms (Piptoporus betulinus) bound on a cord are conjectured to have constituted the Ice Man’s medicine for fighting off stomachache and pain resulting from arthritis. The discovery of parasitic worms in the lower part of the large intestine suggests that the Ice Man suffered from the former ailment. His equipment was carried in a backpack made of wood and bark. A sloe berry found at the site has been interpreted as a remnant of the Ice Man’s food; and since sloe berries are in season at the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, its presence seems to fix the time of year 20 italy in prehistory when the Ice Man died.

This suggests that transhumance was already a well-established pattern of human existence. In fact, since the material culture of central and southern Italy was relatively uniform at this time, it has been conjectured that this so-called Apennine Culture of c. C. owed its uniformity in part to the migratory pattern characteristic of ancient Italian stockbreeding. C. the Bronze-Age civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean came to an abrupt end. The royal palaces of Pylos, Tiryns, and Mycenae in mainland Greece were destroyed by violence, and the Hittite kingdom that had ruled over Asia Minor was likewise swept away.

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