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Norway. This arrow has survived four thousand years. Thanks to the “time machine”

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A 4,000-year-old arrow was found in Norway. As explained by the researchers who found the find, it comes from the Stone Age, i.e. from the times when people used stone, crudely processed tools. It has been preserved in good condition thanks to the ice that covered it until recently.

Ice archeology is a relatively new, still developing branch of science. Melting glaciers and ice sheets “release” the remains of ancient cultures and communities frozen within them, including those that could not be preserved under any other conditions. As the discovery of archaeologists from the Norwegian Secrets of the Ice project shows, glaciers contain finds from truly distant eras.

Thousands of years under the ice

In late August, scientists conducted research on the slopes of Mount Lauvhoe in central Norway, covered with melting snow. During the previous expedition in 2017, they managed to find several arrows there dating from the Iron Age to the end of the Middle Ages – they were between 1,700 and 500 years old. Since then, the ice cover has shrunk, prompting archaeologists to return to the mountains.

At the scene, they managed to find another arrow. Although it had lost both its arrowhead and flight feathers, scientists estimated that it also dated back to the Iron Age. Only after removing the dust clinging to the find, scientists noticed the unusual structure of the place where the arrowhead was placed. It indicated that the point could have been made of stone, probably worked with a primitive chisel. This indicated a Late Stone Age date, making the arrow approximately 4,000 years old.

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As scientists suspected, the arrow may have been lost during a reindeer hunt. These animals like to spend summer days in the snow and ice, away from annoying horseflies. Ancient hunters knew this very well and hunted reindeer in these places. Sometimes when the arrow missed its target, it buried itself deep in the snow.

“This is sad news for the hunter, but a bull’s-eye for archaeology,” they said.

A time machine

To more precisely determine the age of the arrow, scientists plan to next radiocarbon date the find. It is the oldest item from this site so far, and its preservation in good condition was only possible due to low temperatures and an ice cover.

As explained by Lars Holger Pilo, one of the managers of the Secrets of the Ice project, Lauvhoe is one of 66 ice archaeological sites in the Innlandet district alone in Norway. So far, archaeologists have managed to find over 4,000 objects from ancient times trapped in ice.

“Ice is a time machine. It transports valuable objects from the past to our times unchanged,” scientists said on social media.

Main photo source: secretsoftheice.com

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