• Norway's news in English
 

Iron age horse found as Norway glacier melts

Published: 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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway overtakes Russia in European gas
On of the receiving terminals of Norway's Gassco. Photo: Gassco

Norway overtakes Russia in European gas

Norway has overtaken Russia as the leading supplier of gas to western Europe, according to data collected by Reuters from Norway’s state gas network operator Gassco and Russian state company Gazprom. READ  

Oslo woman 'cut up frozen mother with a saw'
A snow-covered garden (note: this garden was in no way connected to the crime committed in the story. Photo: Timo Newton-Syms/Flickr

Oslo woman 'cut up frozen mother with a saw'

A 62-year-old woman in Oslo has been charged for leaving the body of mother outside until it was frozen solid and then attempting to saw her legs off, an act she claims was necessary to honour her dying wish. READ  

Video
Norway man in 'human flag' stunt over waterfall
Eskil Rønningsbakken beginning his stunt over the Vettisfossen waterfall. Photo: Screen Grab

Norway man in 'human flag' stunt over waterfall

Norwegian extreme balancing artist Eskil Rønningsbakken has performed his terrifying 'human flag' stunt without safety equipment over a 275-meter waterfall without safety equipment. READ  

Oslo builds world's first bumblebee highway
A bumlebee lands on an Echinacea flower. Photo: Swallowtail Garden Seeds/Flickr

Oslo builds world's first bumblebee highway

The Norwegian capital has inaugurated the world's first 'bumble bee highway', a corridor through the city pollen stations every 250 meters. READ  

Day care worker charged with abusing 11 kids
The playground in the kindergarten in Tromsø where the man worked. Photo:Morten Bjørnbakk / NTB scanpix

Day care worker charged with abusing 11 kids

A man in Tromsø has been charged with sexually abusing at least eleven children at the kindergarten where he worked, in a case which has alarmed Norway. READ  

Norway start-up founder in multi-million sell-out
The WooThemes team celebrating the sale. Photo: WooThemes

Norway start-up founder in multi-million sell-out

Norwegian start-up entrepreneur Magnus Jepson has sold WooThemes, his Wordpress template company, for a rumoured price of around $50m (400m Norwegian kroner) making him an instant multi-millionaire.. READ  

Norway storms into Eurovision final
Kjetil Mørland and Debrah Scarlett with the song A Monster Like Me in the semifinals no. 2 in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Wiener Stadthalle on Thursday night. Photo: Jessica Gow / TT / NTB sca

Norway storms into Eurovision final

“This could go all the way,” Stian Malme, the head of Norway’s delegation told NRK, after Kjetil Mørland and Debrah Scarlett won wild cheers from the Eurovision audience with their most powerful performance yet. READ  

Norway terror prep no better than on 22/7
Norwegian emergency services on the shore close to Utøya immediately following Anders Behring Breivik's brutal attack in 2011. Photo: Morten Edvardsen/Scanpix

Norway terror prep no better than on 22/7

Norway’s security and emergency services are no better prepared for a disaster or terror strike than at the time of mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s brutal twin attacks in 2011, the country’s Auditor General has concluded in a damning report. READ  

Israeli nuke activist marries Norwegian love
Mordechai Vanunu and Kristin Joachimsen at the wedding in Jerusalem. Photo: Facebook

Israeli nuke activist marries Norwegian love

Mordechai Vanunu, the man jailed for 18 years for leaking details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press, has married his long-term Norwegian girlfriend Kristin Joachimsen. READ  

Scandinavian Airlines cancels 110 flights
An SAS plane on the ground. Photo: SAS

Scandinavian Airlines cancels 110 flights

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) cancelled 110 flights on Wednesday and Thursday in a bid to to prevent passengers from getting stuck in transit due to an impending strike, the airline announced today. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
Norway's men soon to be among Europe's fattest
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
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

2,260
jobs available