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Until the early 1990s researchers believed that prehistoric people stayed away from high mountains.
But some surprising discoveries in highland areas, such as one in the Alps, show that the mountains have been teeming with human activity for thousands of years. As reported by Science Alert, Monday (19/10/2020); archaeologists found traces of ancient hunting dating back to the Mesolithic era about 9,500 years ago in the Alps.
Early humans are believed to have climbed mountains to nearby valleys or mountains to hunt and search for raw materials.
“We know now that people climb mountains up to 3,000 meters high looking for crystals and other key materials,” said Christian auf der Maur, an archaeologist who participated in the expedition in the Alps.
Finds in the AlpsSome evidence of early human activity that has been found in the mountains, among others, is found on the Schnidejoch Pass, a trail in the Bernese Alps (2756 meters).
In 2003, researchers discovered birch tree trunks dating from 3000 BC (BC).
In addition, leather trousers and shoes were also found along with other objects dating from 4500 BC.
Organic materials such as leather, wood, and textiles are usually lost due to erosion, but cold temperatures keep them intact in the ice.
Well, the melting of glaciers in the Alps due to climate change seems to have been a “blessing” in disguise for archaeologists.
The reason is, this phenomenon reveals the findings of archaeological sites in the highlands, thus providing an opportunity for various parties to understand about life in the mountains thousands of years ago.While it is possible to find extraordinary artifacts, melting ice is also a threat.
Because, without a preserving layer of ice, the organic material will quickly disintegrate.
Meanwhile, researchers are also facing other threats due to melting ice in the Alps.Researchers cannot explore every corner of the mountains to find these historical objects, so they need to rely on travelers who are willing to report if they find them.
Unfortunately, ignorance makes travelers often ignore and even underestimate the things they find in the Alps.
For example, what happened to the discovery of wood carvings on the Arolla glacier at an altitude of 3,100 meters above sea level in 1999.
Two Italian climbers who found it took it home and hung it on the wall of their living room.It wasn’t until 19 years later that Pierre Yves Nicod, an archaeologist at the Wallis history museum, said the carvings were more than 2000 years old and were Celtic artifacts from the Iron Age.
“How many such objects have been taken across the Alps in the last 30 years and maybe hang them as displays on their living room walls. We need to give insight to people who might find artifacts,” said Nicod.