Norwegians lose ice artifacts to climate change / News / The Foreigner

Norwegians lose ice artifacts to climate change. Ice layers once covering Norwegian mountain summits are melting so fast, archaeologists cannot keep pace with and preserve the number of emerging discoveries. Danish scientist Lars Pilø and his team of archaeologists work to recover and preserve reindeer hunting equipment used by the Vikings’ ancestors. The team has found hunting sticks, bows, arrows and even a 3.400-year-old leather shoe left by the mythological Norse “Ice Giants.” in the Jotunheimen Mountains since 2006 alone.

lars, piloe, jotunheimen, juvfonna, reindeer, vikings, hunting, equipment, rune, strand, gjoevik



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Norwegians lose ice artifacts to climate change

Published on Friday, 17th September, 2010 at 10:39 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

Ice layers once covering Norwegian mountain summits are melting so fast, archaeologists cannot keep pace with and preserve the number of emerging discoveries.

Jotunheimen mountains seen from Galdhøpiggen
Jotunheimen mountains seen from Galdhøpiggen
Photo: Marcin Szala/Wikimedia Commons


Rescue mission

Danish scientist Lars Pilø and his team of archaeologists work to recover and preserve reindeer hunting equipment used by the Vikings’ ancestors.

The team has found hunting sticks, bows, arrows and even a 3.400-year-old leather shoe left by the mythological Norse “Ice Giants.” in the Jotunheimen Mountains since 2006 alone.

"It's like a time machine...the ice has not been this small for many, many centuries," Pilø told Reuters this week.

Nevertheless, the thawing ice means Pilø’s endeavors to uncover artifacts have gradually turned into a race against the clock to salvage as many as he can.

There is an imminent need to transport their findings to laboratories and to store them in freezers, and Pilø fears the ice is winning.

"There are many ice patches. We can only cover a few...We know we are losing artifacts everywhere," he continued.

Tasting the ages

"Some ice fields are at their minimum for at least 3,000 years," said Rune Strand Ødegård, a glacier and permafrost expert at Norway's Gjøvik University College.

This has proved to be an advantage for Pilø and his team, however. The front edge of Jotunheimen’s  Jovfonna ice sheet has retreated about 18 meters, uncovering objects from the Dark and Viking Ages dating as far back as 1,500 years.

Recently, the archeologists have uncovered no less than 600 important preserved hunting artifacts.

“You can nearly feel the hunter here,” Pilø said, standing by a wall of recently exposed rocks that look like a potential hideaway probably built by an archer.



Published on Friday, 17th September, 2010 at 10:39 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

This post has the following tags: lars, piloe, jotunheimen, juvfonna, reindeer, vikings, hunting, equipment, rune, strand, gjoevik.





  
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