25 items were discovered frozen in alpine ice throughout Europe.


An iron arrowhead discovered at Sandgrovskaret in 2018. (Image credit: Espen Finstad/secretsoftheice.com)

Europe’s glaciers and ice patches are a treasure-trove of ancient artifacts that show how civilizations and technology have changed over thousands of years.

“The archaeological finds from the ice are a tiny silver lining to global warming,” archaeologist Lars Pilø (opens in new tab), who heads the Secrets of the Ice (opens in new tab) project in the mountainous Oppland region of central Norway, told Live Science. ‘The retreating ice has revealed itself to be an enormous deep freezer.”

Here are 25 of the most fascinating objects revealed by Europe’s melting ice.

1. Iron Age sandal

(Image credit: Espen Finstad/secretsoftheice.com)

The discovery of a humble sandal, preserved in a mountain pass in central Norway, suggests that the area where it was found was a route for travelers about 1,700 years ago. This likely means that at the time the footwear was worn, there was less snow and ice there than there is now. Radiocarbon dating shows the sandal was made in about A.D. 300, and its style is similar to Roman sandals from that time.

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