Ötzi was real, is real. His life is a mystery and an inspiration. The finding of his corpse back in 1991 turned our knowledge around.
Previously we believed people groups living over 5000 years ago in the Neolithic era were primitive, simple folk, not nearly as evolved or intelligent as we are. After all they hadn't discovered Bronze yet.
Ötzi's existence, however, resurrected many questions of how much we underestimated him and his people. His mummy challenges how much we still have to learn.
Iceman Awakens is completely fictional, but years of research have gone into the details and framing of the character Gaspare, the young Iceman. Some of those details found in the story are listed here.
Chealana, his wolf, is his faithful companion. On the corpse of his mummy was found a form of canine hair indicating questions about the domestication of the canine species. He was 43-45 when he died, but if he did have a pet/domesticated dog, why not a wolf?
His name Gaspare is a form of the word gaspar, which is adapted from the semi precious stone jasper. Many theories surround his status and role in his society, but there seems to be agreement on the fact that Ötzi was most likely a holy man. Jasper, the stone, was often found in association with ancient holy men and archeology of the past. Both the stone and his name infuse this idea of holy man into the story and his destiny that he is learning during his coming of age rite of passage.
If he was a holy man, then he needed to find that calling at some point. Over 12 rites of passage of ancient tribes were consulted to consider what might be activities deemed symbolic and worthy of a man in the tribe. This set Gaspare's age for the novel at 13 years old. Following books in this series are focused on getting him to the mountain where he was murdered, but the main focus of Iceman Awakens was to breathe life back into his society and culture and lay the ground work for how he was positioned in life to end up murdered in such a merciless manner.
Next week I'll add more details into the back ground of how the story Iceman Awakens was framed by history of a man misunderstood and unknown except as Ötzi, the Iceman