Alps Artifacts Offer Clues to Climate Change

Ancient objects emerge as Swiss glacier melts
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 6, 2008 10:48 AM CDT
Hikers admire the Bernese alps in Switzerland, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alessandro della Valle)
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(Newser) – A melting glacier in the Swiss Alps has revealed hundreds of ancient artifacts, providing valuable information about both history and climate change through the ages, AFP reports. The area was walkable only during warm periods when the glacier receded. “The site itself is the most important find because we have this correlation between climate change and archaeological objects,” says a researcher.

The finds on the 9,000-foot-high Schnidejoch pass began in 2003 with hikers’ discovery of an ancient quiver for arrows. Since then, 300 objects have been found dating as far back as 4000 BC, including pieces of leather that are the oldest of their kind ever discovered. Climate change could lead to similar glacial melting, and more archaeological finds, on mountain ranges around the world.