Grass Cape, Mat or Backpack?
During the second examination of the scene of the find, three large sections of matting made of Alpine swamp grass were uncovered.
These woven objects were at first taken to be parts of a sleeveless cape worn over the hide clothing. However, doubts have since emerged about this theory, as the mat does not fit the shape of the body. In particular, the shoulder area would have been too narrow. Moreover, the way in which it was thought to have been worn would have been impractical. The backpack and quiver could not have been carried either under or over the grass cape.
Also, the quiver would quickly have worn the grass matting away. Most likely, the Iceman wore the matting over his head, fastening it with string at the top. Ethnological comparisons show that herders today still use such mats as effective protection from the rain.
The matting may also have been the missing container attached to the backpack frame.