Frozen Pasts – The World Conference of Frozen Archaeology

Finally, the time has come. We are off to Innsbruck, Austria, to meet our colleagues at Frozen Pasts, the world conference of frozen archaeology. We are so excited to hear news about new finds and methods in this developing field. What is going on in North America and the Alps? And are finds from the ice appearing in new parts of the world?

Frozen Pasts colleagues at work.
A-B: The Schnidejoch mountain pass in Switzerland. Albert Hafner is excavating a Neolithic bow-cover. Photos: Archäologischer Dienst des Kantons Bern. C-D: The Alligator ice patch in Yukon, Canada. The discovery of an atlatl dart among the reindeer dung on the surface of the ice. Photo: Government of Yukon.

Frozen Pasts is an international network of archaeologists, researchers, heritage managers, students and others interested in frozen archaeology and history. The network was established in the aftermath of the first international glacial archaeology conference in Bern, Switzerland in 2008: “Ötzi, Schnidi and the Reindeer Hunters: Ice Patch Archeology and Holocene Climate Change.”


Previous Frozen Pasts conferences

The first Frozen Pasts conference was held at the Vitenskapsmuseet in Trondheim, Norway in 2010. This conference did not only include glacial archaeologists, but also had contributions by scientists working on permafrost in Greenland, frozen mummies on mountaintops in the Andes, and the restoration of buildings from polar expeditions in Antarctica. It also had a nice exhibition of the arrow finds from the Oppdal Mountains.

The next conference was in Whitehorse, Yukon in 2012. The program here was more focused on glacial archaeology.


The up-coming conference in Innsbruck

The third Conference will be in Innsbruck in Austria starting Wednesday 12th of October. The preliminary program can be found here. The glacial archaeology of Oppland will be presented in three papers:

Lars Pilø, Espen Finstad, Atle Nesje, Julian Martinsen: The Langfonne Ice Patch ‐ Chronological Patterns in Space and Time

Lars Pilø, Espen Finstad, James Barrett: Lendbreen ‐ The History of a Glaciated Mountain Pass

Vivian Wangen: Ice Patches as Hunting Installations for Wild Reindeer 300‐1000 AD ‐ The Use of Scaring Sticks from Archaeological Ice Patch Sites in Oppland County, Norway.

Frozen Pasts does not have a website, but there is a Facebook page for the network.