Subscribe to Archaeology

Intact Pair of 1,300-Year-Old Skis Discovered in Norway


Norway SkiOSLO, NORWAY—Science Magazine reports that archaeologists from Norway’s Museum of Cultural History have recovered a second ski from a melting ice patch on a mountaintop in Norway. The first 1,300-year-old ski was discovered about 16 feet away from its presumed mate in 2014. The skis measure about six feet long, six inches wide, and have intact bindings made of birch rope and leather straps. Fragments of skis and rock art depicting skis dating back some 8,000 years have been previously found, but this is the first discovery allowing researchers to see how skis were worn. As a valuable means of transportation, the skis show signs of extensive repairs, and were not identical to each other. A wide groove runs down the center of the newly recovered ski, perhaps refuting the idea that early skis were covered with fur to facilitate uphill travel. The researchers speculate that the skier took them off to hunt and maybe lost them in the snow, or was injured in an accident. To read about hundreds of other well-preserved artifacts that emerged from the ice of Norway's mountains, go to "Melting Season."



From the Trenches