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OFFBEAT

Melting glacier drops Dark Age jacket

A 1,700-year-old coat is the latest artefact from Dark Age Norway to be freed by the fast-melting Breheimen glacier.

Archaeologists said the garment was left behind by hunters who had followed valuable reindeer herds as they moved to their high-altitude summer pastures. The knee-length, wool garment was found at a camp 2,000 metres above sea level in southern Norway’s Breheimen National Park.

An agonizing week passed between first observing the coat in the ice and seeing it freed from the glacier by the summer melt.

Though few finds from the era have been made in Europe, Norway’s glaciers in 2006 released a 3,400-year-old Stone Age shoe which created a stir in archaeology circles. Both finds will be displayed at Fjellmuseet i Lom, or the mountaineering museum in Lom, part of southern Norway’s Oppland county.

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OFFBEAT

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.

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