Thousands of Artifacts Revealed in Glaciers in Norway


Glacier archaeologists found more than 2,000 archaeological works from Norwegian glaciers and found things that would help mountain settleters better understand their history.

There is a reason why history is full of stone sculptures, pottery and arrowheads. These objects are decayed by hundreds (or even thousands) of years when exposed to the sun, wind and rain. Organic materials such as woven fabrics and leather shoes are rarely available. However, there is at least one situation that allows such archaeological artifacts to remain intact: they must be frozen in ice.

(19459013) 1100 Year Viking Sword Found in a Mountain in Norway )

Glaciers and frozen soils keep many treasures from this species. However, with the changing climate, these hidden works began to emerge. This is precisely what happened in Norway, according to Kastalia Medrano from Newsweek. Glacial archaeologists have found more than 2,000 archaeological works from the Norwegian glaciers and found things that will help better understand the history of mountain settlements.

Radiocarbon analysis An arrow stalk based on BC 2,000. He was on a glacier, hunting a reindeer in high altitude. C: Øystein Rønning-Andersen.

Since 2011, under the Ice Mysteries Project of the Ice Archeology Program, archaeologists from the United Kingdom and Norway are investigating the Oppland glaciers, where Norway's highest mountains are found. Thousands of historical artifacts dating back to 4000 BC were excavated. The wooden skis are among the works with almost unbroken Bronze Age arrows, wooden miller, Viking swords, skulls of clothes and cargo horses.

Lars Pilø, spouse of the Ice Archeology Program, says in Medrano: "You can find everything in the ice-caught mountain passes. The most noteworthy among these terrific remains are personal finds. Still, I think it's more important to see your whole picture. "

A tunic dated to the MS 300 according to radiocarbon analysis. The glacier was across the mountain. C: Marten Teigen, Museum of Cultural History

The author of the article published in the Royal Society Open Science mentioned the results of the study. Of the thousands of objects extracted, the history of 153 was identified. Detected dates indicate that the works are not in a balanced number every year. In some times there was accumulation, while others left a relatively small number of works daily.

According to the researcher's chief writer, James H. Barret of Cambridge University, in more detail, the number of works in some periods is remarkable. "The Little Ice Age (between 536-660 AD) in the Late Antiquity, which is one of the periods during which activity may have been increased, surprised us. It was a time when this climate was cooling down. Harvesting and consequently reduction of the population was possible, "he says. "Remarkably, the finds on the ice show a continuity, including this period. The declining harvest parallel to the falling temperature indicates that the mountain hunt (especially the reindeer hunt) has increased. An alternative explanation may be that in the Late Antiquity Little Ice Age, activity decline in high regions is too small to be seen in the finds. "

( Unexplained Runic Writing in Norway for 1000 Years )

According to Barret, a sudden increase in the number of historical works also appears in the 8th and 9th centuries. In these years, increased trade and mobility have increased the population. Then, the growing population started the Viking Age, when the Norwegian population opened out. The increased urban population demanding more mountain products may have led to a larger number of hunters.

Archaeological research on the glaciated mountain pass in Oppland, Lendbreen. C: Johan Wildhagen, Palookaville

As Pilø transferred from National Geographic to Elaina Zachos, the reindeer hunt also changed in this period. The hunters, arrows, and hills developed new techniques that drove a larger number of animals and made them trapped, rather than pursuing a single animal. According to Pilø, "We do not think such an intensive hunting is sustainable. They were reducing the reindeer population. "

11. The number of works remaining from the century is decreasing. This may be the decline in the reindeer population. Brit Soli of the Oslo Cultural History Museum stated in a press statement that the emergence of the bubonic plague epidemic in the 14th century could be attributed to a decline in population and a fall in demand for mountainous goods

Researchers are hoping to collect more work and information to clarify this period of the Scandinavian history. As Pilø transfers to Zachos, the glacial archaeologist is quite different from traditional archaeologists who digs in the hands of researchers for months or even years with the fountain and brush. Glacier archaeologists are investigating ice from mid-August through mid-September, when snow is the least, and marking places with artifacts later with wooden poles to collect. It is considered to be the key to successes when objects are quickly released from the mountain before they begin to dissolve and deteriorate.

A close-up photograph of a runic writing cane. According to radiocarbon analysis, MS is dated to the 11th century. He was on a glaciated mountain crossing. C: Vegard Vike, Museum of Cultural History

Due to climate change, Norway is not the only place in the iceberg to have a historical monument. As Marissa Fessenden wrote to, in 2015 the Inca Mountains were found in the bodies of soldiers disappeared in the First World War and in the mountains of the Andes. There were 2,500 archeological remains from Alaska, including woven baskets and wooden masks. Moreover, according to researchers, the most famous glacier mummy, Ice Man Ötzi, was also found in the warming of the climate

Despite the many negative aspects of climate change, the emergence of these finds can be an unexpected positive result. The uncertain future of our climate can help researchers to learn more about our past without realizing it. January 26, 2018.


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