Your single point of reference for all your Geotechnical Inquiries
The world’s melting glaciers are yielding up their secrets too quickly
FORCLE GLACIER, Switzerland — At around 8,000 feet above sea level, Switzerland’s Forcle Glacier has for thousands of years been deeply ensconced in a frigid mountain valley overlooked by some of Europe’s highest peaks.
Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for the latest updates on Russia’s war in Ukraine.
To early human hunters who climbed these heights, it must have seemed as if its snow-covered body of ice would forever keep the valley locked in its frozen grip. Whatever was lost on these rocks — iron spears, leather shoes or rudimentary straps — was swallowed by the ice, never to reappear.
But when the Swiss archaeologist Romain Andenmatten arrived here on a recent September day, the ground was so muddy and moist that his shoes sank deep into it. On the ground in front of him lay a leather strap, rimmed with gleaming ice crystals, its holes filled with fine gravel.
The last time a human held it may have been over 1,000 years ago.