Climate change is melting glaciers and revealing the hidden treasures below the ice. These are turning out to be valuable archaeological sites in the Alps. Teams of archaeologists have uncovered a wide range of items that are a collector’s delight. Some of the retrieved items are thousands of years old and it is a race against time. This is because until now, the ice had acted as a protective cover.

Once it melts away due to climate change, the artifacts made out of perishable materials might be lost forever. They would be exposed to the elements like the sun and winds and disappear. As an archaeologist explained to a section of the media, the time available is extremely short and in a couple of decades, these finds will be lost forever.

Daily Mail UK says climate change and consequent melting of glaciers have opened the doors for archeologists to study the past. In fact, a new branch of research called glacier archaeology has emerged. Archaeologists feel that in spite of the ill effects of climate change, the study will help experts to understand life of the past dating back centuries. As one of them says, “We are making very fascinating finds that open up a window into a part of archaeology that we don't normally get.”

Melting glaciers reveal the body of a 5,300-year-old warrior

In 1991, the body of a 5,300-year-old warrior was found in the Alps. It was well preserved. This was one of the most famous discoveries of glacier archaeology.

The discovery of items at high altitudes reveals that prehistoric people could scale the mountains. Daily Mail UK adds many of the items discovered belonged to 4500BC.

In 2003, arrows were found tentatively placed as items from 3000BC at a high altitude. It was proof that the people of the past did venture up the mountains in search of primary materials.

An archaeologist with Uri canton described the find as “truly exceptional.” In September 2019, the Antarctica Thwaites Glacier melted away raising the seas to unimaginable levels. This is a major issue people who reside in coastal areas have to face and might have far-reaching consequences.

Climate change and melting of glaciers help to piece together a bygone era

In the opinion of an archeologist, the realization of the potentials of sites uncovered by the melting of glaciers has probably come too late. The retreat of the glaciers and melting of the ice fields has been an ongoing process for years. In view of the severe cold temperatures, archaeologists have to depend on the information provided by hikers who Travel into uncharted territories and announce their discoveries when they return.

Daily Mail UK goes on to add that not all hikers share their finds. It seems Italian hikers found a woodcarving and used it to decorate their living room. It later turned out to be nearly 2,000 years old.

Items of this nature really should belong to museums where they can be looked after properly. In August 2019, scientists in Iceland mourned the death of the Okjökull glacier. It was a victim of climate change.

Alpine glaciers melt to reveal artifacts of the Mesolithic era

According to Science Alert, a group of archaeologists braved all odds to reveal items of the Mesolithic era. These lay hidden beneath the glaciers and surfaced because of global warming that melted the ice. The age of some of the items recovered are nearly 9,500 years old. Experts predict that most of the glaciers throughout the Alps could disappear by the end of this century. Archaeologists look at this as the brighter side of climate change.

They lament the devastating toll of this factor but admit it has provided "an opportunity" to widen the knowledge of mountain life millennia ago.

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