They are the best-preserved pair of skis from prehistory.
Long before people were strapping skis to their feet and having fun in the snow for a winter pastime, ancient civilizations were using their own versions of skis to get around in wintertime.
As it turns out, skiing has been around for ages – at least since 6,000 BCE when ancient people used it as a mode of transportation. Granted, their skis were not like the ones that we use now.
For the longest time, all we could gather on what ancient skis looked like was what we could see on rock art depictions. But recently, a team of Norwegian archaeologists made a thrilling discovery: A well-preserved 1,300-year-old ski.
The nearly intact ski was found frozen in some ice. But what was even more incredible was that this ski wasn’t found too far away from the location of where its long-lost made was discovered back in 2014. Now, these two make up the oldest pair of intact skis ever to be discovered!
There is a blog, Secrets of the Ice, which is run by “archeologists of glaciers.” On it, the story of this exciting find was detailed out, sharing that the researchers were a part of Glacier Archaeology Program. This joint effort between the Innlandet County Council and the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo were the ones who made the discovery.
As they explained, there were some ancient Viking ruins and other artifacts that were buried beneath the Scandinavian ice. Eventually, with the melting snow, they were found. Back in 2014, the first ski was discovered, complete with a leather binding. For the last 7 years, they have been on the search for the second ski in the Digervarden Ice patch. Then after 7 years of looking, they finally managed to find the missing pair in September 2021.
This ski is made of wood as well, and it measures 187 centimeters long and 17 centimeters wide. The ski has signs that it was likely repaired a few times and well-maintained, leading the researchers to believe that skis were too valuable back in the day to be disposable.
Furthermore, they have found that the skis, while a matching pair, are not as identical as the skis of today would be. Still, it is quite extraordinary that such ancient skis – dating back to 1,300 years ago – have been discovered intake after all this time!
Check out the video below:
What do you think of this discovery? How fascinating is it? Let us know!