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Melting ice reveals Viking artifacts

Published 7:02 PM ET, Wed April 15, 2020
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Researchers recovered a small container made of birch bark found along a once-lost mountain pass in Norway. The container was dated to 400 AD. Secrets of the Ice
This Roman Iron Age tunic as it was found, crumpled up and lying in a depression and dated to 300 AD. It's a remarkably complete garment. Secrets of the Ice
This wooden bit was once used for goat kids and lambs to prevent them from reaching their mothers' milk, as the milk was processed for human consumption. It was dated to the 11th century AD. Espen FInstad/Secrets of the Ice
This horseshoe was recovered along the pass, including a small part of the hoof star still attached to the other side. The shape is similar to those made between the 11th and 13th century AD. Espen Finstad/Secrets of the Ice
Researcher Elling Utvik Wammer holds the skull of an unlucky packhorse that did not survive its journey. The skull was dated to 1700 AD, making it the most recent item found at the site. Pil¿ Lars Holger - Kulturarv/Espen Finstad/Secrets of the Ice
Researcher Lars Pilø is pictured by a cairn, which was used to mark the route of the mountain pass. James H. Barrett/University of Cambridge.
The upper part of the Lendbreen ice patch can be seen after the big melt in 2019. The surface of the ice is covered with horse dung left on the pass when it was originally used. Espen Finstad/Secrets of the Ice
This Viking Age mitten was made from different pieces of woven fabric and dated to the 9th century AD. Johan Wildhagen/Palookaville
This wooden distaff made from birch was used to help spin wool by hand and it was radiocarbon-dated to 800 AD. Espen Finstad/Secrets of the Ice
Although it was just found in 2019 and hasn't been dated yet, researchers were intrigued by this horse snowshoe found at the site. Espen Finstad/Secrets of the Ice
The Lendbreen ice patch has melted back drastically. The picture above shows Lendbreen during the big melt in 2006, the picture below is from 2018. Espen Finstad/Secrets of the Ice
Researchers have endured bad weather and challenging conditions and terrain since they began studying the pass in 2011. Johan Wildhagen/Palookaville
This shoe, dated to the 10th century AD, was made from animal hide. Hair on the outside of the shoe gave it better grip on the snow. Secrets of the Ice
This remarkably complete tinderbox was found in 2019 and hasn't been dated yet. Espen Finstad/Secrets of the Ice
This tong, or plier, was used to secure loads on sleds. It was the first object found and dated to the 5th century AD. Secrets of the Ice
This wooden whisk was dated to 1100 AD and likely doubled as a tent peg. Secrets of the Ice