The Time Factor Traces are the “metadata” of an act, a course of action, a communication or even a presence or having been there. They show us that something happened, but often also how something happened. We consider traces always in retrospect, because they have to be there first in order to be considered. The time interval between the emergence of traces and their observation can vary. In 2017, for example, researchers investigated how Ötzi, a mummy from the ice of the Ötztal Alps, came to his death about 5,300 years ago and thus solved a murder with a slight time delay. But some traces also disappear. Not only the well-known traces in the sand … Also we can’t detect e.g. knockout drops in the victim’s blood already 24 hours after they drank them.