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Beeswax Discovered in 400-Year-Old Wooden Box in Norway

Monday, June 7, 2021

OSLO, NORWAY—Gizmodo reports that researchers from the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo identified the remnants of beeswax candles inside a well-preserved wooden box that was discovered in 2019 in melting glacial ice along the Lendbreen mountain pass in Norway’s Breheimen National Park. The lid of the box was held shut with leather straps. The pine used to make the box has been radiocarbon dated to between A.D. 1475 and 1635. Farmers used such boxes to transport candles, which were expensive, from their main farms to their summer mountain pastures, the researchers explained. In the spartan summer quarters, candles would have been the sole source of light at night. Other items recovered from the melting ice of the Lendbreen pass include Viking spears, a wool tunic, horse snowshoes, mittens, shoes, walking sticks, knives, dog leashes, and the remains of a dog. For more on the initial discovery of the box, go to "Melting Season."

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