Melting Norwegian glacier releases 500-year-old perfectly preserved wooden chest full of candles

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A 500-year-old wooden box, first discovered in 2019, contains the remains of a beeswax candle used to help Vikings find their farms, archaeologists have announced.

Archaeologists removed the tight lid from the pine box containing the leather straps, discovered in Norway’s Lendbreen Ice Plain, and discovered the candle essential to Vikings hundreds of years ago.

The team suggests the box was used to carry the tall candles used by Vikings to light the path between their main farm and summer farm.

The Lendbreen Ice Sheet has been a sought-after destination for archaeologists since 2011, when teams discovered thousands of artifacts protruding from the melting Norwegian glacier.

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Melting glaciers in Norway's Lendbreen Ice Sheet have uncovered an ancient wooden box sealed for up to 500 years, and archaeologists have opened the lid to reveal remains of beeswax candles

Melting glaciers in Norway’s Lendbreen Ice Sheet have uncovered an ancient wooden box sealed for up to 500 years, and archaeologists have opened the lid to reveal remains of beeswax candles

At first, the team thought it was a tinder box accidentally lost in the pass, but a closer analysis proved otherwise, The history blog reports.

“It’s radiocarbon dated to AD 1475-1635, so 400-500 years old,” glacial archaeologists from the Secrets of the Ice team shared in a statement.

‘The contents of the box were analyzed at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo: we were in for a big surprise – the contents are beeswax!

“What we see in the box is most likely the remains of a beeswax candle.”

The team suggests the box was used to carry the tall candles used by Vikings to light the path between their main farm and summer farm.

The team suggests the box was used to carry the tall candles used by Vikings to light the path between their main farm and summer farm.

Climate change is creating a valuable archaeological site in Norway, an ancient passageway used by Vikings for thousands of years and littered with forgotten artifacts.  The Lendbreen Ice Sheet has produced more than 6,000 artifacts since archaeologists began exploring the area

Climate change is creating a valuable archaeological site in Norway, an ancient passageway used by Vikings for thousands of years and littered with forgotten artifacts. The Lendbreen Ice Sheet has produced more than 6,000 artifacts since archaeologists began exploring the area

Candle boxes were a common item among Vikings used to house expensive beeswax candles as Vikings made their journeys to various farms.

The melting glaciers, caused by climate change, are creating a valuable archaeological site in Norway, an ancient passageway used by Vikings for thousands of years and littered with forgotten artifacts.

The Lendbreen Ice Sheet has produced more than 6,000 artifacts since archaeologists began exploring the area.

Last November, teams unearthed nearly 70 arrow shafts, shoes, textiles and reindeer bones on a mountainside in Jotunheimen, about 240 miles from Oslo.

Last November, teams unearthed nearly 70 arrow shafts, shoes, textiles and reindeer bones on a mountainside in Jotunheimen, about 240 miles from Oslo.

Last November, teams unearthed nearly 70 arrow shafts, shoes, textiles and reindeer bones on a mountainside in Jotunheimen, about 240 miles from Oslo.

Clothing, tools, equipment and animal bone were also found by a team in the mountainous region of Norway.  Pictured is an old snowshoe

Clothing, tools, equipment and animal bone were also found by a team in the mountainous region of Norway. Pictured is an old snowshoe

Based on radiocarbon dating, the oldest arrows are from around 4100 BC, with the most recent dating to 1300 AD.

Clothing, tools, equipment and animal bone were also found by a team in the mountainous region of Norway, according to the magazine antiquity.

Researchers collected more than 100 artifacts at the site, including horseshoes, a wooden whisk, a walking stick, a wooden needle, a mitten and a small iron knife.

While a warming world is revealing these extraordinary relics, archaeologists are in a race against time as the ice preserves them.

Archaeologist Regula Gubler told AFP in October 2020, “It’s a very short span of time. In twenty years’ time these finds will have disappeared and these ice patches will have disappeared.’

“It’s a little stressful.”

She explained that materials such as leather, wood, birch bark and textiles can be destroyed by erosion.

And the only reason they have survived is because of the ice.

THE VIKING AGE TASTED FROM AROUND 700-1110 AD

The Viking Age in European history was from about 700 to 1100 AD.

During this period, many Vikings left their homeland in Scandinavia and traveled by longboat to other countries, such as Great Britain and Ireland.

When the people of Britain first saw the Viking sloops, they came to the coast to welcome them.

However, the Vikings fought the locals, stole from churches and burned buildings to the ground.

The people of Britain called the invaders “Danes,” but they came from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark alike.

The name ‘Viking’ comes from a language called ‘Old Norse’ and means ‘a pirate attack’.

The first Viking raid recorded in the Anglo-Saxon chronicle was around 787 AD.

It was the beginning of a fierce battle between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings.

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