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When the ancestors of many of today’s Norwegians hunted reindeer in the mountains they would occasionally miss a target or damage their weapons – losing or discarding them in the snow.

Under the right conditions some of these artefacts have been preserved in ice for thousands of years. (Photo: Åge Hojem and Martin Callahan/NTNU University Museum)Just a few years ago archaeologists figured the oldest objects anyone could expect to find in snowdrift glaciers would be about 2,000 years old.

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Carbon-14 is also passed onto the animals that eat those plants.

But it wasn’t until recently that objects that date back to the Stone Age started emerging.“The things we find are frozen and we think ice must have been there, if not permanently, at least most of the time.

Otherwise the bits of wood and leather we find would not have been preserved,” says Callanan.“Things are emerging here that are 5,000 years old.

They are keen to find out whether the method used to make it will indicate its age and what type of animal bone was used.

Bretten got interested in finding artefacts in snowdrifts in Oppdal when he was 17 and read an archaeological thesis about the topic.