One might think that skiing is some what a modern activity only invented a couple of decades ago. However humans have been strapping wood to their feet and sliding down the snow for many millennia.
Since at least 6 000 BCE, people have used skiing as useful way of transportation. Even though there are no actual ski’s from way way back, scientist have seen proof of ski’s and the use thereof in most ancient rock art depictions and fragments of wood.
A recent ski related finding had the Norwegian team of archeologists all the more excited. The team recently discovered an incredibly well-preserved 1,300-year-old ski frozen in the ice. However the recent ski found is the long-lost mate of the ski which was discovered not far from this one back in 2014. Together these two findings form the oldest pair of intact skis that has been discovered. Back in 2014, a team discovered a lone wooden ski complete with binding made of birch bark and leather. However since the second ski was still missing, scholars have kept a careful eye on the Digervarden Ice patch for the past seven years with the hopes that the second ski will appear during summer.
The second ski was found in September 2021, and are made of wood measuring 187 centimeters long and 17 centimeters wide. After further studies on the ski’s, researcher found signs that the ski was repaired and well cared for. The team also noted that the two skis were not identical to one another which made them believe that the person took care of their skis as they were likely too valuable to be easily disposed of.
Further researched also showed that the pair of skis dated back to the pre-Viking age, which is about 1,300 years ago.
The exciting find is detailed on a blog run by “archeologists of glaciers” called Secrets of the Ice. The researchers are part of a joint project between the Innlandet County Council and the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo which is named the Glacier Archaeology Program.
The remains of viking settlements and other artifacts are buried deep beneath the abundant ice of Scandinavia. Who knows what interesting historical artifact will pop up next from underneath the snow.