• Norway edition
 
Iron age horse found as Norway glacier melts
Iron age horse dung, bones and shoes -- Oppland County Council

Iron age horse found as Norway glacier melts

Published: 17 Sep 2013 12:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Sep 2013 12:30 GMT+02:00

"It shows that they were using horses for transport in the high alpine zone, in areas where we were quite surprised to find them,"  Lars Pilø, the head of snow archeology at Oppland council told The Local. 
 
The find, which was made in August, is the latest of a string of discoveries archeologists have been making around the world, as global warming melts glaciers and ice sheets, leaving perfectly preserved relics behind. 
 
"Even though the finds up there are fantastic, the background to the science is very serious," Pilø said. "Norwegian climate experts tell us that all the ice in the Norwegian high mountains will be gone by the end of this century, and of course that also adds an urgency to the work that we're doing." 
 
Pilø, who is Danish, and his team have been concentrating their research around the Lendbreen glacier near Lillehammer, which he believes was used both for hunting and as a short cut over the mountains from the late iron-age to the early medieval period. 
 
"When it gets hot in the summer, the reindeer will get pestered by horseflies, and when they get horseflies they move up to the ice, which made the ice excellent hunting grounds," he explained. 
 
"The other reason that we have many finds is that people wold also cross the glaciers as a transport route over the mountains. You can imagine, if people went over ten times a year and dropped one thing every time, that adds up to a lot of items." 
 
He said the horse whose bones they discovered was probably used to carry reindeer carcasses back off the mountains to the villages below. 
 
The team have previously found perfectly preserved 1000-year-old horse manure, and horse shoes dropped in the ice. Earlier this year, they made headlines across the world when they found a 1,700-year-old woollen tunic, fully intact apart from the two patches sewed into it by its iron age owner.
 
Pilø said it was important to keep the melting ice under constant observation as once an artefact defrosts, the team have just days to begin preserving it. 
 
"When they're in the ice, they're in the deep freezer, so they're incredibly well preserved. It's like they've been in a time machine," he explained. "But once they're out in the open the clock starts ticking really fast. We have to be there when they come out." 
 

Richard Orange (richard.orange@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man arrested in Øyer fire death case
Police search for the killer Bjarte Hansen of in Øyer. Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB scanpix

Man arrested in Øyer fire death case

A friend of the man wanted for the killing of Bjarte Hansen in Øyer last week is under arrest and charged with helping assist in the murder, it was announced on Tuesday. READ  

Car crashes into Oslo shopping mall
A car lost control and rammed into Kiellands Hus shopping centre in Oslo. Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix.

Car crashes into Oslo shopping mall

A driver was lucky to be alive after crashing his car into a shopping centre entrance in Oslo on Tuesday. READ  

Norway's first drunk on a Segway charged

Norway's first drunk on a Segway charged

The Norwegian government lifted its ban on Segways in July, but it was only a matter of time before police caught their first drunk driver on a two-wheel vehicle. READ  

Ødegaard set for Norway international debut
Martin Ødegaard. Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB scanpix

Ødegaard set for Norway international debut

Fifteen-year-old Martin Ødegaard has been called up to the Norway football team for the friendly against the United Arab Emirates on August 27. READ  

Princess Ingrid starts her first day at new school
Princess Ingrid Alexander (centre) arrives with family for her first day at her new school on Tuesday. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Princess Ingrid starts her first day at new school

Princess Ingrid Alexandra was welcomed by pupils and staff at her new private school in Oslo on Tuesday. READ  

Strike teachers on full pay as pupils go without
Schools, like this one in Trondheim, brief pupils about the disruption caused by the Norway teachers' strike. Photo: Ned Alley / NTB scanpix

Strike teachers on full pay as pupils go without

Teachers striking across Norway are receiving full pay from their union who boast a strike fund of more than 1 billion kroner, it was revelaed on Tuesday. READ  

Football coach kicks out wife to focus on match
Malmö manager Åge Hareide. Photo: Conny Sillén / NTB scanpix

Football coach kicks out wife to focus on match

The Norwegian football coach Åge Hareide admitted on Monday asking his wife to leave so he could focus on winning a crunch qualifying game and a place in the Champions League. READ  

Serial chicken smuggler caught in Norway

Serial chicken smuggler caught in Norway

A Swedish man has been apprehended trying to smuggle half a tonne of frozen chicken into Norway by car on Monday. READ  

Øyer fire death: Police hunt missing step-son
Kim Andreas Kristiansen is wanted for his step father's murder in Øyer. Photo: Police / NTB scanpix.

Øyer fire death: Police hunt missing step-son

The stepson of a man found burned to death in Øyer on Thursday was formally charged with his murder on Sunday and is now missing, sparking a police hunt for his capture. READ  

School strikes cause chaos across Norway
Korsvoll school: One of many hit by teachers' strike action. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

School strikes cause chaos across Norway

School pupils and staff face chaos on Monday as around 8,000 teachers take strike action all over Norway. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
National
Norway lifts Segway ban
Culture
GALLERY: Ten great songs about Norway
Society
Høie promises to reform sex change law
Education
Norway fjord invaded by monster jellyfish
Culture
VIDEO: Norwegian anti-Facebook film goes viral
Culture
Norway pop duo hits number 4 on US charts
Sport
Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet
National
Solberg 'most chatty' leader on Twitter
Culture
British Airways takes 'Slow TV' to the skies
International
Top Norway lawyers back Snowden Nobel
Society
Buy your own Viking warship for just €160,000
Politics
Norway PM beats Candy Crush level 300
Culture
Norway sticks with fårikål as national dish
International
Cold bathing craze leads to teen death
Society
Sweden threatens to 'annex' the ostehøvel
National
Baby squirrels survive cat attack
Society
Norway's 'cushy' prisons spurring foreign cons
National
Half Norwegians overweight: Gates study
International
VIDEO: Jagland doing press-ups in Donetsk
Business & Money
Striking Norway barbers: 'Let your hair grow'
Culture
Rihanna 'hard to please', Norway's Stargate reveal
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

318
jobs available