A 4th century leather sandal resurfaces on the peaks of Norway. The discovery took place at the end of August 2019 and, now, the find is being studied by experts. A Norwegian climber was crossing the area known as the Horse Ice Patch near Oppland. The sandal is in a good state of preservation and, according to the experts, it is waste. In other words, its owner threw it away because he no longer needed it. 1,700 years later, his gesture could shed light on the Vikings’ craft techniques.
The sandal found in Norway
“There was a consistent ice melt in 2019. We were busy saving artefacts from the Lendbreen Pass and other sites. Just before the winter snow arrived, we received an exciting photo from Horse Ice Patch from a hiker. We thought: is this an Iron Age shoe? We left immediately”. In a short tweet, archaeologists from Secret of The Ice told the story of how the ancient sandal came to light.
1,700 years later
A climber was crossing the Horse Ice Patch, a mountain pass near the town of Oppland in Norway, when he came across the footwear. The archaeologists who arrived at the site secured the find from melting ice and carried out all surveys. They then used carbon 14 dating to estimate that the shoe dates back to 300 AD. Its former owner would have thrown it away because it was so worn out that it was no longer usable.
As news.artnet.com reports, Vegard Vike, curator at the Kulturhistorisk Museum in Oslo, explained on Twitter (where the images are taken from) that the sandal is a version of the Roman carbatina. Espen Finstad, the head of the archaeological team, explains: “It’s quite surprising to have found this sandal. We’re at almost 2,000 metres, and we find a shoe with fashion elements similar to those of today”. The discovery, according to the expert, “tells us that what today looks like a wild and desolate mountain landscape was a heavily trafficked prehistoric passage”.