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FILE - In this July 19, 2011 file photo, pools of melted ice form atop Jakobshavn Glacier, near the edge of the vast Greenland ice sheet. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File) FILE - In this July 19, 2011 file photo, pools of melted ice form atop Jakobshavn Glacier, near the edge of the vast Greenland ice sheet. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)  

Global warming helpful to archaeologists

Anne Hobson
Contributor

Archaeologists working on glaciers in Southern Norway said on Thursday that global warming provides an exciting opportunity for archaeological discoveries. In 2011, archaeologists found a pre-Viking tunic. According to Reuters, Carbon dating revealed that the tunic was made around 300 AD.

Other discoveries include a Viking mitten from 800 AD, an ornate walking stick, a Bronze Age leather shoe, ancient bows, and arrow heads used to hunt reindeer.  Since glacial thawing in Norway’s southern mountains has accelerated in 2006, archeologists have uncovered 1,600 artifacts.

“It’s worrying that glaciers are melting, but it’s exciting for us archeologists,” said Lars Piloe, a Danish archaeologist working on Norway’s glaciers.

Recently, climate change has resulted in thrilling finds from Alaska to the Andes. The 5,300-year-old prehistoric man Otzi, discovered in 1991 in the Alps between Austria and Italy, remains the most famous glacier find to date.

The tunic is made of lambs wool with a diamond pattern, and is one of only a handful of its kind discovered in Europe. Untreated ancient fabrics are prone to disintegrate in weeks when exposed to air because of insect and bacteria activity. Receding snows and melting glaciers in the Alps during the summer make finding these artifacts easier.

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