From Science at NBC News:
OSLO — A pre-Viking woolen tunic found beside a thawing glacier in south Norway shows how global warming is proving something of a boon for archaeology, scientists said on Thursday.
The greenish-brown, loose-fitting outer clothing — suitable for a person up to about 5 feet, 9 inches tall (176 centimeters) — was found 6,560 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level on what may have been a Roman-era trade route in south Norway. Carbon dating showed it was made around the year 300….
The 1991 discovery of Otzi, a prehistoric man who roamed the Alps 5,300 years ago between Austria and Italy, is the best-known glacier find. In recent years, other finds have been made from Alaska to the Andes, many because glaciers are receding.
The shrinkage is blamed on climate change, stoked by human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.
The archaeologists said the tunic showed that Norway’s Lendbreen glacier, where it was found, had not been so small since 300. When exposed to air, untreated ancient fabrics can disintegrate in weeks because of insect and bacteria attacks….
“The tunic was well-used — it was repaired several times,” said Marianne Vedeler, a conservation expert at Norway’s Museum of Cultural History.
The tunic is made of lamb’s wool with a diamond pattern that had darkened with time. Only a handful of similar tunics have survived so long in Europe.