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Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past


Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

Illustrated in color and black-and-white with over 65 photographs, many of them rare. For ages 8 to adult. Published by Houghton Mifflin.

Schedule a School Visit with James M Deem

When I visit schools and libraries to speak about Bodies from the Ice, I give a PowerPoint presentation that includes many rare glacier images discovered during my research.

I introduce students to the subject of glaciers, by describing how they are formed, how they move, and where they are found. I discuss what people thought of glaciers long ago, in the days before science, and how, more recently, scientists have studied glaciers. I explain why scientists are concerned about the melting of glaciers now. I show comparison photos of glaciers (then and now) to show how much they have melted in recent years. 

A presentation about glaciers at Charlotte Country Day School (North Carolina)

I discuss the positive side of melting glaciers from an archaeological standpoint.  I describe how glaciers were explored like long-lost continents, how people who have died while crossing or climbing glaciers have been discovered at the melting edge of glaciers now that they are thawing. I discuss what scientists have found out about these discoveries by studying their remains and the artifacts that accompanied them. In particular, I introduce students to Ötzi the Iceman, showing them how he was discovered and what fascinating objects and clothing were found with him. I explain how scientists eventually uncovered the cause of his death.

Finally, I discuss the problems that may be caused by the melting of glaciers (lack of drinking water and possible rise in the sea level). My PowerPoint includes many rare images that I located when researching my book, Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past.


Speaking about glaciers at the International School of Geneva, Switzerland


To arrange a school visit, please contact James M. Deem.