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From the same journal

Climb Every Mountain: High Altitude Archaeology in the French Alps

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle



Publication details

JournalWorld Archaeology
DatePublished - 1 Mar 2011
Number of pages6
Publishercurrent publishing limited
Original languageEnglish


For most people ‘alpine archaeology’ means Ötzi, the ‘Ice Mummy’ found encased in an Italian glacier in 1991. The enduring fame of this sensational iceman is easy to understand, but it is also a shame. The story of Ötzi is one of death at high altitude, and it reinforces the stereotype that mountains are marginal, dangerous places, best avoided.
Yet, there is another, far more complex story to be told, one of how people lived in, and exploited, these mountains. For thousands of years they were as much a place of work as a place of death, and, since 1998, the Southern French Alps Landscapes Project has revolutionised our knowledge of early human activity above the 2,000m mark. Operating in the Ecrins National Park, where glacier-sharpened peaks reach altitudes of 4,100m, a team of archaeologists and palaeoenvironmental scientists from the UK and France have pieced together the evidence for the ten millennia long tale of humans in the mountains.

    Research areas

  • Alps, france, Archaeology

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