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Ancient arrows melt out of the snow

  • Published 29.01.14

Melting glaciers reveal Stone Age surprises.

Archaeologists at NTNU are all fired up after the discovery of Stone Age arrows that were intended for hunting reindeer between 5400 and 5200 years ago. The arrows were found in
Storbreen in Dovrefjell, a national park in central Norway, and are the oldest archaeological finds from a snowdrift in Scandinavia.

“A beautiful piece of work, one of the finest arrows we have,” says NTNU archaeologist Martin Callanan, who recently published an article on the snowdrift finds in the journal Antiquity.
The snow has done a good job preserving ancient objects made of wood, and many arrowheads, arrow shafts, bow fragments and other hunting gear have previously been found in snowdrifts in the Oppdal area in central Norway, about 2 hours south of Trondheim. But it is only recently that people have started to find things that date back to the Stone Age.

Just a few years back, archaeologists believed that the oldest objects they would be able to find in snowdrifts would be about 2000 years old. Starting in 2006 they began to find older artefacts,
suggesting that the ice has in place much longer than was previously thought possible.