Aerial view that show a swamp and lake covered in frost and ice. This image was taken in a forest close to Drammen city, Norway.

1075399918

Aerial view that show a swamp and lake covered in frost and ice. This image was taken in a forest close to Drammen city, Norway.

Photo by: Baac3nes

Baac3nes

Ice Melts in Norway to Reveal Ancient Artifacts

By: Leah Weber

Ice melting in Norway has revealed an Iron Age medieval mountain pass littered with near-perfectly preserved artifacts.

It is not news that due to global warming, ice is melting adjacent to the poles at record speeds. Mountain ice and glaciers hold history to our planet’s past, and this week archeologists published their findings. A treasure trove of artifacts circa 300-1500 AD, with peak activity in 1000 AD, were found in Scandinavia.

Permafrost at high elevations just over 200 miles north of Oslo, Norway, continues to melt due to global climate change, and that is where the emerging field of Glacial Archaeology comes into play. This branch of archaeology focuses on studying sites where ice is melting rapidly and revealing clues about the comings and goings of civilizations throughout the ages.

In Central Norway, over 3,000 artifacts, including textiles, animal bones, hunting tools, and more were found nearly untouched. What is really cool about this find is that normally, Earth's elements would cause a breakdown in organic materials. And in the case of these glacial treasures, they have fought the good fight and won.

The best way to find out more about how people lived before the time of traditional record keeping is to study artifacts that may seem mundane. The 2011 discoveries specific to Lendbreen, Norway showed evidence of a Viking-era mountain pass. This information leads to a better understanding of how groups traveled throughout the Scandinavian region.

As the globe continues to warm, ice will continue to melt, and glacial archaeology will remain at the forefront of discoveries and hidden stories revealed beneath the ice.

Next Up

Year in Review: Nature in Focus Adventures

For many years I've looked back on the year in review and thought about all of the incredible adventures I've experienced and this year is no exception.

Galápagos Giant Tortoises Are Mysteriously Turning Up Dead in Ecuador

Despite the tough protections, there has been a spate of tortoises killed in recent months, and officials fear the animals have been slaughtered for their meat.

Supertrees That Suck Up More Carbon Could Be Forest Climate Fix

Forestation and tree growth are perhaps the most powerful tool for reducing levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere and tackling climate change. Now genetically modified (GM) ‘supertrees’ that grow faster and rapidly take up CO2 could be used to address the climate crisis.

Saving Hawaii’s Native Species

Not so very long ago, Hawaii was a remote island, populated solely by endemic flora and fauna–and its native inhabitants. Now, however, it is known throughout the world as a must-visit tourist destination, while Americans have moved to the islands in their masses, buying up beachfront properties.

World Oceans Week is Making a Big Splash

Dive into World Oceans Week with the Explorers Club as they celebrate the wonders of the earth's oceans and share cutting-edge research in marine technology, conservation, and beautiful underwater photography.Learn more about all the events happening this week from June 5-June 11 at www.explorers.org.

How the World Celebrates the Summer Solstice and How You Can Too

June 21st is the longest day of the year, marking this year’s summer solstice. Every year, thousands around the world celebrate the official beginning of summer.

Helping the Los Angeles River Change Course

As a human trying to commute from Long Beach to Downtown Los Angeles to the hills of Pasadena, you probably already know that you’ll be making your way on infamous, traffic-clogged roads filled with obstacles to be avoided.

Channel Islands: A Tale of Two Worlds

Channel Islands National Park is one of the least visited national parks in the United States, yet it is only about 20 miles from the coast of Los Angeles and the bustling surf and sand lifestyle of Southern California.

Is Climate Change Killing More Elephants than Poachers?

Kenya’s Wildlife and Tourism Board has announced that climate change is now a bigger threat to elephant populations than poaching. Kenya is currently facing an extreme drought that is threatening the livelihoods of people and wildlife within the area.

There is Hope for the Future of Polar Bears Threatened by Climate Change

Scientific researchers have recently identified a sub-population of polar bears in southeastern Greenland that survive by hunting on glacial slush. The discovery of their unique behaviors is helping scientists understand the future of this species whose habitats are threatened by climate change.