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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