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The Mystery Under the Glaciers

Global warming has been a serious global issue since the late 19th century. Global warming is the erosion of the ozone layer which is caused by the rapid increase of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere by human activities such as using fossil fuels like coal or natural gas to produce energy, using perfumes and deodorants which chemically erode the ozone layer or using pesticides that contain methyl bromide. As a result, the temperature of the earth is also increasing. This increase in temperature causes the glaciers to melt and the animals living in those areas to lose their natural habitat. In some areas, however, the melting of those glaciers resulted in discoveries about our history.



EASTERN EURASIA


The glaciers in the mountains in Eastern Eurasia are slowly melting as a result of global warming. As these glaciers melt, they reveal secrets from the Mongolian Empire. In the years 2018 and 2019, 11 bodies of Mongolian people were found partially under the ice. Even if these bodies were over 800 years old, the temperature of the ice (lower than 0 °C) preserved the bodies. The studies show that this burial site was used in the 13th century which equals to the time Cengiz Han was named the king of all the Mongolians. These people were buried with their belongings and dressed in thin clothes which indicates that they were important people during that time.

The latest studies are mostly focused on learning more about the aristocratic lifestyle and their diet. By looking at the protein levels on the bodies’ teeth, the archaeologists found that these people used to drink horse, sheep, goat, cow, and yak milk. They even found a woman’s body who only drank yak milk and nothing else. These yaks were important in Mongolian culture because their milk was rich in fat, their fur was thick and warm, and their fat was used in making essential products like candles. Unfortunately, this site is in danger of despoliation. As the glaciers melt and reveal more relics the archaeologists are afraid that the relics will be stolen before they can properly analyze them.



NORWAY


The summer of 2011 in the south of Norway was unusually hot which caused the snow and ice that had been on the top of the mountains for a long time to melt and reveal the secrets underneath it. At first sight, the group of archaeologists just thought they were random pieces of rocks lying around but on closer look, they found pieces of clothing, tools, and animal remains in the area. After these items were found, the group took a closer look at the rocks and realized that they were the foundation of wooden houses. These houses dated back to CE 750-1150.

Based on previous research it was known that this area was used by Vikings, but it was a mystery what they used it for. Lars Pilo, an archaeologist specializing in glaciers, said “The artifacts from the glaciers are a new and very important data source that will shed light on these issues. It shows that the high mountains of Southern Norway are not regions far from outside contact.” about this discovery.



To conclude, it is important to note that the people working at those sites are working in extremely hard conditions to carry out the studies as environmentally friendly as possible. Even going as far as using horses to carry their equipment instead of helicopters or off-road terrains.




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