Archaeologist Runar Hole with the 1300-year-old ski. (Photo: Oppland County Authority)
In recent summers, many sensational archaeological discoveries in Norwegian national parks have been made. This summer there was found 390 objects from the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, including sixty 6000-years-old arrows and an 1300-year-old ski.
The Early Viking Age ski is 172 cm (69 in) long and 14.5 cm (5.7 in) wide, well-kept with binding constructed of wicker and leather straps. The binding sits on a raised section in the middle of the ski, and there is a hole where it was attached.
The discovery shows Vikings used skis with bindings – which meant they could move fast and steady on the snow. (Photo: Oppland County Authority).
There are about 2,700 glaciers in Norway, and these glaciers have an area of approximately 2700 square kilometers (1042.5 mi²). When they melt due to climate change, increasingly older objects appear. This summer sixty arrow shafts were found and the C14-dating shows that they are almost 6000 years old.
In 2006, a 3400-year-old Bronze Age leather shoe was discovered enclosed in the ice in the north of the Jotunheimen, and in 2011, a 3300-year-old complete bow in the Breheimen. Both these national parks are located in the same area as Reinheimen.
The ice melts and the past is revealed. (Photo: Oppland County Authority)
Most findings in Oppland
Of the 3500 discoveries made in the ice last year, about half were done at 50 locations in Oppland. The reason is that most of Norway’s extreme mountain areas are located in this county and that the distance to the valleys where people lived was short.
The most common findings are arrows and scare sticks that were used for hunting reindeer. The arrowheads are made of both stone, shells, bone and iron.
This arrow shaft is about 6000 years old. (Photo: Oppland County Authority)
At an altitude of 1900 meters, a rune stick was discovered at the Lendbreen glacier in Breheimen. Rune sticks, engraved with a short message or utterance, have previously been found in medieval towns and never so high above sea level. The Rune stick from Lendbreen is C14-dated to be about 1,000 years old.
Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews
Sources: NRK, Oppland County Authority