1,700-year-old weapons discovered in Norway’s melting glaciers

(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists in Norway have unearthed weapons and caches on a remote mountain where hunters lay in wait for deer more than a millennium ago.

Exploring part of the inner mountain peak of Sandgrovskaret, experts found five arrows, three of which are up to 1700 years old. The researchers also found 40 stone hunting “blinds” that made the hunters “invisible” to the deer.

“When the deer got within 10 to 20 meters [33 to 66 feet], the hunter stood up and started shooting arrows,” says Lars Peel, an archaeologist at the Cultural Heritage Department of the Innlandet County Council, Norway, co-director of the Glacier Archaeology Program and editor of the website “ Ice Secrets.

For years, Pile and his colleagues have traveled to the mountains in search of artifacts from melting glaciers.

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Of the five arrows, three retained the iron tip. According to Peel, based on an analysis of the shape of the arrowheads, the weapon likely dates from between 300 and 600 AD.

One of the three iron arrowheads is “a rare type not previously found on ice and unlikely in graves on the plain,” the scientists noted.

The other two arrows without iron tips probably date back to the first millennium BC, Peale said. Deer hunters who used these weapons probably hid in nearby ambush areas.

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The arrows could not fly more than 66 feet (20 m)”, so the hunters needed a good place to hide. And if there was no such place, they built it themselves.”

The hunters did not live on the 6,234-foot (1,900 m) mountain. “They probably lived in the valleys, but obviously had large hunting stations higher up in the mountains,” the experts share.

“During the Stone Age, people in the area lived in simple settlements. Later, in the Iron Age, they lived in “big longhouses in the valley,” says Finstad.

In 2021, glacial archaeologists announced the discovery of some of these longhouses.

The team also found 77 fragments of deer antlers and bones and 32 scare sticks that were planted in the ground as fence posts to direct frightened deer towards ready archers, Peel said. The scare sticks date back to between 200 and 1000 AD, the Iron Age, he added.

“The scare sticks were used to lead the deer to the hunting grounds, although we are still trying to figure out exactly how this happened,” Peel said.


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