Hot Find in Norway: 1.6K-Year-Old Sweater

As melting snow in Norway threatens other artifacts not yet found

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 29, 2013 10:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – Apparently climate change isn't as bad as we thought. Thanks to melting snow in the Norwegian mountains, archaeologists have uncovered some pretty cool artifacts, including bow and arrow fragments and a really well-worn tunic more than 1,600 years old. It's the "first glimpse of the kind of warm clothing used by hunters frequenting the ice patches of Scandinavia in pursuit of reindeer," a researcher tells the BBC. Dated between 230AD and 390AD, the tunic—pulled on like a sweater—was made of sheep's wool, had no fastenings, and had been patched twice, indicating it may have been a hand-me-down.

"The new find is of great significance for dress and textile production and how these reflect the interplay between northern Europe and the Roman world," an expert said, adding that it's one of just a handful of such pieces. The bow and arrows fragments, including slate points, are also well-preserved, but archaeologists worry that the speed of melting snow may cause other artifacts to deteriorate before they can be found. "As the climate continues to heat up and the snows melt away, one wonders what long-term price there will be to pay for these glimpses of the frozen past," another researcher said.

Archaeologists have found a patched, brown tunic in the Norwegian mountains under melting snow patches.
Archaeologists have found a patched, brown tunic in the Norwegian mountains under melting snow patches.   (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))
Climate change is melting snow patches in Norway and helping make archaeological finds.
Climate change is melting snow patches in Norway and helping make archaeological finds.   (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))
Bow and arrow fragments found are believed to have been lost by Neolithic hunters.
Bow and arrow fragments found are believed to have been lost by Neolithic hunters.   (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))
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