Melting alpine glaciers produce archaeological treasures, but the clock is ticking – Raw Story

The team climbed steep slopes, climbed alpine glaciers, and then found what they were looking for: crystal clear veins filled with precious rocks for carving tools.

In the Mesolithic age about 9,500 years ago, ancient hunters and gatherers were hunting traces of crystals.

It is one of many valuable archaeological sites that have emerged from rapidly melting glacial ice in recent decades, inspiring a new field of research: glacial archaeology.

Under rising temperatures, glaciologists predict that by the end of this century, 95% of the approximately 4,000 glaciers spread across the Alps may disappear. Created "opportunities" and greatly expanded people's understanding of mountain life.

"We are making fascinating discoveries, thus opening up the window into the field of archeology that we normally do not have access to." said Marcel Cornelissen, who traveled to Uganda in eastern Switzerland last month An excavation was carried out at a remote crystal site near Brunifirm Glacier in Lizhou, at an altitude of 2,800 meters (9,100 feet).

-"True Outstanding"-

Until the early 1990s, it was generally believed that people in prehistoric times avoided towering mountains.

But since then, many surprising discoveries have emerged from the melting ice, indicating that mountains like the Alps have been hot places for human activities for thousands of years.

Now, it is believed that humans have climbed the mountain to the nearby valley, hunting or grazing animals to pastures.

Christian auf der, an archaeologist in Uri State Maur participated in this crystal expedition, and he said that the discovery was indeed "very special".

"We now know that people are Hijin

The first major ancient mountain discovery that emerged from melting ice was "Oetzi", discovered in 1991, which is 5,300 years old. Ancient. The corpse of the warrior was preserved in a high mountain glacier in Tyrol, Italy.

Many people have discovered since ancient times. This discovery is considered to be a rare case of prehistoric humans venturing into the Alps.

– Rare Organics –

The Schnidejoch Pass is a lofty trail at an altitude of 2,756 meters (9,000 feet) in the Bernese Alps. For example, it has been a gospel for scientists since 2003. The discovery of birch bark quiver (arrow box), its history can be Dating back to 3,000 BC.

Later, leather pants and leather shoes were also discovered, probably the fate of the same person, and there are hundreds of other objects that date back to Ab in 4,500 BC

"The exciting thing is that we found things that are usually not found in excavations," archaeologist Regula Gubler told AFP.

She pointed to organic materials such as leather, wood, birch bark and textiles.

Just last month, she led a team to excavate a new discovery in Schnidejoch: a string of knotted bast or plant fibers, believed to be more than 6,000 years old. [19659002] It is similar to the fragile remains of the black bast fiber woven basket brought back last year.

Although climate change makes this extraordinary discovery possible, it is also a threat: if not, it will be discovered soon, from The organic matter released from the ice quickly disintegrated and disappeared.

-"Very short window"-

"This is a very short window in time. In 20 years, these discoveries will disappear, and these ice cubes will disappear," Gubler said. "It's a bit stressful.

Cornelissen agreed, saying that it may be “too late” to understand the archaeological potential of glacier sites.

“The retreat of glaciers and the melting of ice sheets have made progress, so it’s far,” he said. Think we will not find other Oetzi.

The problem is that archaeologists cannot wander around each melting ice sheet, waiting for the treasure to surface.

Instead, they rely on hikers and others to remind them

may sometimes turn around

In 1999, when two Italian hikers stumbled upon the wood carving on the Alola Glacier (about 3,100 meters above sea level) in the southern part of Wallis, they picked it up.

19 years later It is precisely because of a series of lucky circumstances that archaeologist Pierre Yves Nicod noticed it, when he was preparing to hold a glacier archaeology in Sion. Exhibition.

He tracked down a one-meter-long humanoid figurine with a frowning face and dated it.

It has a history of more than 2,000 years-"Kay of the Iron Age" The Elt, Nicord told AFP, holding up the statuette with gloved hands.

He said that its function is still a mystery.

Nicode said that another unknown is "how many such objects have been picked up in the Alps in the past 30 years and are still hanging on the walls of the living room."

"We need to make it urgently possible. People who encounter such artifacts become sensitive."

"This is an archaeological emergency."

©2020 AFP

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