The Norwegians discovered the second ski from the Viking Age. An incredible finding, scientists say

Two skis from one pair dating from the Viking Age 1300 years ago were reunited thanks to the discovery of archaeologists in the ice-covered Norwegian mountains, who discovered its original companion seven years after the discovery of the first ski.

In 2014, a group of glacial archaeologists called Secrets of Ice found a lone ski in the Digervarden ice field in Reinheimen National Park in southern Norway, the server said. Live Science.

Despite its age, the ski was well preserved in ice, including the original binding. At that time, it was one of two skis with preserved bindings that were older than 1000 years.

The team watched the ice field for another seven years, hoping that the melting ice would reveal the missing second ski. Patience paid off for him – in September this year, researchers saw the second ski just five meters from where the first one was found. “The new ski is even better preserved than the first one!” said Lars Pilo, glacial archaeologist and editor of the Ice Secrets website. “It’s an incredible find.”

However, getting the second ski from the Viking Age to the laboratory was not an easy task. After satellite data showed significant melting of ice in the area, the team set out on an expedition to the mountains. The scientists climbed the slope and found a second ski, but they did not have the right tools to free it safely from the ice. The next step was thwarted by an autumn storm, which covered the whole area with a flurry of snow.

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The scientists returned to the site at the end of September, and this time they were ready – they had ice axes, gas stoves and material to pack the ski for the return trip. After a three-hour climb, they found their skis under a 30-centimeter layer of snow with the help of a GPS locator. It was easy to remove the snow, but the skis were trapped in a tight grip on the ice. Therefore, the team had to carefully use ice chisels and water heated on the stoves.

Both skis are older than the Viking period (793 to 1066). They are wide, with raised wood at the binding point. Both are also about the same size – about 187 inches long and 17 inches wide. The binding is made of three twisted pieces of birch, leather strap and a wooden latch. The place under the binding of the newly discovered ski seems to have been repaired, proving that the skis were used before they ended up in the ice 1300 years ago.

What happened to the ski owner is hard to guess. According to other artifacts found, this mountain area used to be a place for reindeer hunting. Several stone mounds also indicate that a path to the other side of the mountains may have led this way. So the owner could be a hunter, a pilgrim, or both. He could be swept away by an avalanche or he could have fallen victim to another disaster. The possibility of leaving the skis alone in place when his binding broke is not ruled out either.

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