Frozen Finds in the Alpine

RETROACTIVE

Recent archaeological research from Alaska to Yellowstone has revealed rare and delicate tools preserved in high altitude ice that tell of a deep human history in some of the most remote alpine habitats on the continent. These artifacts were lost by ancient hunters of alpine animals (like caribou and sheep) and had been encased in a barrier of ice that warming temperatures have recently unlocked. A race is now on to find frozen relics from the past before they, and the icy archives that house them, disappear.

This stone dart is over 4000 years old and is preserved in its original wooden shaft (courtesy of the Government of Yukon). This stone dart is over 4000 years old and is preserved in its original wooden shaft (courtesy of the Government of Yukon).

The story of prehistoric alpine hunters in North America owes its existence to Yukon biologists who discovered an odd piece of wood above the treeline. The find was reported to local archaeologists who realized that it was a wooden tool lost…

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