Prehistoric and Medieval Skis from Glaciers and Ice Patches in Norway


  • Espen Finstad Department of Cultural Heritage, Oppland County Council
  • Julian Martinsen Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo
  • Runar Hole Tarandus, AS
  • Lars Pilø Department of Cultural Heritage, Oppland County Council



ski history, climate change, ice patch, mountain transport


Traditionally, ski history has relied on preserved skis from bogs, on rock carvings depicting skiers and on written sources. The on-going melting of mountain ice has led to the discovery of ancient skis from a new context. In this paper, we present ski finds from glacial ice in Norway, dated from the first millennium BCE to the Medieval Period. The finds of skis from glacial ice shed new light on the ski history of NorthWestern Europe—the development, the context of use in a high-alpine landscape and the skiing technique. One of the finds provides the earliest date yet for the use of fur on the underside of skis.

Published Open Access CCY-BY 

Project supported by the Ministry of Climate and Environment; The Directorate of Cultural Heritage; Oppland County Council; Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo


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How to Cite

Finstad, E., Martinsen, J., Hole, R., & Pilø, L. (2018). Prehistoric and Medieval Skis from Glaciers and Ice Patches in Norway. Journal of Glacial Archaeology, 3, 43–58.