Archaeologists in Norway have found what might be an 8,000-year-old skull, possibly containing brain matter, in a dig site in Stokke, southwest of Oslo. They say the find could help explain living conditions in the Stone Age.
The team has been digging at the Stokke site for two months and believe that the site consists of two separate Stone Age settlements. Among many other findings at the dig, the latest find is a human skull, which still appears to contain brain matter, and they hope that the find will tell them something about how it was to live in the Stone Age.
Experts are not yet sure whether the skull belongs to an animal or a child, According to Gaute Reitan, dig site leader, “It is too early to say. We need help from bone experts.” Read more.
The Norwegian farmer says the 2,900-year-old skull was found by chance. There is no indication as to the cause of death for now.
“My father was operating a digging machine and I got down into the ditch. A small ball suddenly fell out of the loader bucket right in front of my feet,” Stange municipality-based farmer Halvor Stenberg tells NRK, Tuesday.
What he discovered turned out to be something unexpected. Picking it up, bits of skull started coming away in his hand.
Archaeologists believe that the skull belonged to a man close to 20 years of age. At the same time, how the victim died currently remains a mystery. Read more.
Archaeological finds left by prehistoric hunters offer today’s biologists invaluable tools for understanding how reindeer once roamed Norway’s landscape - unimpeded by roads, power lines or other infrastructure.
The world as we know it now looks quite different from the way it used to look, as more and more pristine habitat is replaced or fragmented by urban areas and infrastructure such as roads, power lines, pipelines and dams.
Scientists worldwide have worked to understand the effect of this rapidly expanding infrastructure on wild species, with the ultimate goal of minimizing potential negative effects.
These studies have focused on migratory species such as reindeer and caribou, because the development of infrastructure along traditional migratory routes can hinder or block migrations, with significant consequences for the species. Read more.
A melting patch of ancient snow in the mountains of Norway has revealed a bow and arrows likely used by hunters to kill reindeer as long ago as 5,400 years.
The discovery highlights the worrying effects of climate change, said study author Martin Callanan, an archaeologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
"It’s actually a little bit unnerving that they’re so old and that they’re coming out right now," Callanan told LiveScience. "It tells us that there’s something changing."
Callanan and his colleagues spend every summer hiking up the Trollheim and Dovre mountains a few hours south of Trondheim, Norway, to study the snow patches in the area, track snow melt and look for archaeological artifacts. Read more.
The remains of an iron age horse has been found in a glacier two thousand metres up in the mountains of Norway, one of the first times such an animal has been found at such altitude.
"It shows that they were using horses for transport in the high alpine zone, in areas where we were quite surprised to find them," Lars Pilø, the head of snow archeology at Oppland council told The Local.
The find, which was made in August, is the latest of a string of discoveries archeologists have been making around the world, as global warming melts glaciers and ice sheets, leaving perfectly preserved relics behind. Read more.
A boat neck sweater made of warm wool and woven in diamond twill was a dominating fashion trend among reindeer hunters 1,700 years ago, according to researchers who have investigated an extremely well preserved Iron Age tunic found two years ago under melting snow in Norway.
Announced last March, the finding has been detailed in the current issue of the journal Antiquity.
“Due to global warming, rapid melting of snow patches and glaciers is taking place in the mountains of Norway as in other parts of the world, and hundreds of archaeological finds emerge from the ice each year,” Marianne Vedeler, from the University of Oslo, Norway, and Lise Bender Jørgensen, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, wrote. Read more.
When archaeologists Geir Grønnesby and Ellen Grav Ellingsen found these and other artefacts during a dig in mid-Norway, they realized they had intriguing evidence of a Viking-age trading area mentioned in the Norse Sagas.
The finds came from two separate boat graves in an area in Nord-Trøndelag County called Lø, a farm in part of Steinkjer. The archaeologists, who both work at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s University Museum, were there to conduct a routine investigation required because of an upgrade to Norway’s main national highway, the E6.
But instead of a simple highway dig, the researchers found themselves with a potential answer to an unsolved puzzle about a mysterious Viking trading place that is named in ancient sagas, but that has never before been located. Read more.
Its age and the letters remaining on it confirm it to be from the time Charlemagne was king (742-814). This makes it an unusual find in Norway.
“It’s a very special coin for us because it is the oldest Charlemagne one we are aware of that is in Norway. All the others we know of are from after he became emperor,” NTNU’s (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) Jon Anders Risvaag told NRK.
The archaeologist states a previous coin found in Nord-Trøndelag in 1838 is 10-20 years older.
This new discovery will be displayed at some point in the future.
Other recent archaeological discoveries in Norway were a rare ‘illegal’ German coin from the time of King Henry III on a royal farm in Avaldsnes in the southwest. (source)