Melting Glaciers Reveal 1000 Year old Mittens

If there is one scientific area that can welcome climate change, it may be archeology: the melting of Norwegian glaciers is a source of happiness for archaeologists.

Mittens, shoes, knives, horseshoes and trekking poles were found on a mountain pass in Norway, finds a study from Cambridge University.

nowshoe, not yet radiocarbon-dated, Source: Espen Finstad/secretsoftheice
nowshoe, not yet radiocarbon-dated, Source: Espen Finstad/secretsoftheice

But these objects have something extraordinary: they are between 1000 and 1700 years old! According to the study, they could date between the 4th century and the 11th century.

“One is talking about artefacts that were put in the deep freeze 1,000 years ago, and later and earlier,” said said James Barrett, a medieval and environmental archaeologist at the University of Cambridge, who has been working with Norwegian archaeologists on the project since 2011.. “And were taken out when we found them. So a textile is almost perfectly preserved, one might find arrows with the fletching perfectly preserved, with the sinew still in place, the glue that glued the feathers to the shaft. These are quite remarkable finds.”

Researchers believe that the mountain pass on which they were found was used for local traffic, like a highway. Horse skulls were also found, implying that these animals were used for transportation.

The study indicates that rising global temperatures will allow archaeologists to access previously inaccessible sites.

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