Close Window
Rush to Uncover Ancient Human History Before Glaciers Melt June 27, 2014
Alpine glacial artifacts
Prehistoric items already recovered from Alpine ice. This bow and arrow set was found on the Schnidejoch ice sheet in the Bernese Oberland.
A Swiss researcher is rushing to retrieve items covered for hundreds or even thousands of years by ice that is now melting due to global warming.

Leandra Naef told the Swiss Broadcasting Corp. that the project in the country’s eastern mountains “has to happen now, or else it will be too late, if it’s not already too late.”

Her plan is to search for well-preserved artifacts trapped beneath ice patches in the highest elevations of the Alps.

Since a 5,000-year-old corpse was discovered by hikers in melting ice nearly a quarter of a century ago, items like leather leggings from about 3000 B.C., as well as an ancient arrow quiver, have also emerged from the receding glaciers.

Naef has targeted 40 points that she believes are most likely to yield artifacts.

She urges hikers and wardens to turn in anything they find over upcoming summers as the Alpine glaciers vanish.

Naef hopes to uncover some artifacts herself this summer.

Photo: Archäologischer Dienst Kt. Bern