Atlatl Dart recovered from melting glacier

30 Jun 2010

This story is interesting as it involves melting mountain glaciers - alleged to be the result of global warming. A new field of archaeological investigation has developed over the last 8 years or so as it was realised some well preserved artifacts were being uncovered by melting ice - not just in North America, as in this instance, but in the Alps and other locations. It is a well established fact that some mountain glaciers melt on a regular basis. In the Alps, for example, the Little Ice Age cold spell led to a growth in glaciers that buried medieval mine workings and farms, and it is reasonable for these to have receded recently - but why did they not do so before the 1990s? Perhaps they did, and glaciers ebb and flow regularly, but in the high mountains it remains very cold - could artifacts survive unfreezing and refreezing, and how many times might that have happened? If the ice melted for the first time in recent years that would imply unprecedented global warming - as AGW alarmism claims. Anyway, in this instance it was a wooden atatl dart that was retrieved from the melting ice - and the Colorado University news flash claims it was 10,000 years old. See www.colorado.edu/news June 28th or www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629131322.htm where the dart is said to have been made from a birch sapling and is about 3 feet in length. The projectile point is missing and so too is the atlatl itself, a throwing tool for leverage to create greater velocity (or strength of penetration in the kill target). Obviously, wood can freeze, unfreeze, and freeze again - but archaeologists are also finding carcasses and faecies, and various bits of organic material.