Glacial Archaeologists Have Recovered a 4,000-Year-Old Arrow From Melted Ice

Archaeologists working with Norway’s Secrets and techniques of the Ice program just lately obtained a shock when a arrow shaft they’d beforehand dated to the Iron Age turned out to be some 4,000 years previous.

The scientists had collected the arrow from the aspect of a mountain, Lauvhøe, and at first, it seemed like different Iron Age arrows collected from the realm. However after the researchers cleaned the glacial silt off one finish, they discovered a notch befitting a stone arrowhead and never an iron one. The workforce co-directed by Lars Holger Pilø – an archaeologist with the native Division of Cultural Heritage – concluded that the arrow dated to the Stone Age, pending radiocarbon relationship.

Regardless of the outcomes, the arrow joins a wealth recovered by Secrets and techniques of the Ice, which has recovered examples from as early as 6,000 years in the past from the melting ice of Norway, based on

Quickly after the arrow’s discovery. (Credit score:

What Is Glacial Archaeology?

Local weather change has nonetheless led to a renaissance within the mini-field of glacial archaeology, which is one thing of a misnomer. For its half, Secrets and techniques of the Ice prefers to work on and round ice patches that transfer little as a substitute of glaciers, which comprise comparatively younger ice and grind up artifacts. Pilø and others pore over maps and geographical databases to seek out the perfect spots and typically take to the air in helicopters.

As soon as they’ve selected a location, they hike as much as it and camp typically for weeks on finish whereas scouring the margins the place the ice has simply melted. They slowly patrol up and down the ribbon of naked rock the place the encircling lichen has but to rebound (a course of that takes a whole bunch of years), on the lookout for what the ice has simply launched. Their latest discoveries embrace a worn knife blade, a snowshoe for a horse and a uncommon arrow made with a freshwater pearl mussel.

“Such shell arrowheads are solely identified in Norway and in northwest America,” mentioned Pilø.

Learn Extra: How Archaeologists Know The place to Dig

Norway’s Historic Searching Grounds

Secrets and techniques of the Ice has found many looking artifacts because the Norwegian ice as soon as served as a serious looking floor for reindeer through the summer season. Then, the animals sought to flee swarms of parasitic botflies at decrease altitudes however as a substitute bumped into the arrows of people, who herded them utilizing wood “scaring sticks.” Archaeologists have recovered lots of the sticks, which held an object that moved within the wind and startled the animals into the vary of human bows.

Innlandet County stays the middle of Norwegian glacial archaeology, and Secrets and techniques of the Ice claims to have made greater than 3,700 finds there throughout some 65 websites. Scientists have additionally practiced the sector in Western Canada, the Rocky Mountains and Alaska, the place higher-than-average temperatures have worn away the ice.

A part of the Norway Division of Cultural Heritage, Secrets and techniques of the Ice stands as essentially the most outstanding effort, with roots extending to a dramatic melting in 2006 that exposed, amongst different issues, an Early Bronze Age shoe. The group has additionally found a whole bunch of Viking artifacts, notably within the Lendbreen cross, a ridge the place the individuals had traveled and stacked rock cairns to mark the best way.

Learn Extra: Research Exhibits Altering Glaciers Might Affect Wildlife and Tourism at Nationwide Parks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *