Glacier Reveals Pre-Viking Relic, A pre-Viking woolen tunic found beside a thawing glacier in south Norway shows how global warming is proving something of a boon for archaeology, scientists said on Thursday.
The greenish-brown, loose-fitting outer clothing — suitable for a person up to about 5 feet, 9 inches tall (176 centimeters) — was found 6,560 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level on what may have been a Roman-era trade route in south Norway. Carbon dating showed it was made around the year 300.
“It’s worrying that glaciers are melting, but it’s exciting for us archaeologists,” Lars Piloe, a Danish archaeologist who works on Norway’s glaciers, said at the first public showing of the tunic, which has been studied since it was found in 2011.
A Viking mitten dating from the year 800 and an ornate walking stick, a Bronze Age leather shoe, ancient bows, and arrowheads used to hunt reindeer are also among 1,600 artifacts found in Norway’s southern mountains since thawing accelerated in 2006.
“This is only the start,” Piloe said, predicting many more finds.
One ancient wooden arrow had a tiny shard from a seashell as a sharp tip, revealing intricate craftsmanship.