Archeologists found a perfectly preserved 1,500 year old arrow inside a Norwegian glacier.
It was a team of seven people from a glacier archeology program who discovered the arrow, dated to between 300 and 600 CE, in the Jotunheimen Mountains on August 17.
It was found during a survey of the reindeer hunting site, and was “really well preserved,” even when compared to other arrows from the ice.
“The arrows melting out of the ice are a very important new source material to archeology,” said Lars Pilø, who co-directs the glacier archeology program at the Department of Cultural Heritage.
“Due to their preservation, we can learn we at lot more about the past, such as how advances their bow-and-arrow technology really was. The age of the arrow can be assessed by the shape of the arrowhead and the arrow shaft, which both point to AD 300-600.”
Glaciers and other perennial ice sheets are gold mines for artifacts, as the items are preserved and often appear like they were made recently.
The Glacier Archeology program at the Department operates under Innlandet County Council, who established back in 2006 that rising temperatures are leading to increased melting of mountain ice in Innlandet.
2006 was the year of the first ‘big melt’ in 2006, an unusually warm summer in the area.
“The degree of preservation is linked to time of exposure, the micro-environment where it was found, and the pressure of snow and ice has impacted where the arrow lay.”