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‘Incredible’ 900-year-old copper arrowhead discovered on the Canadian mountain

Close-up of barbed antler arrow point with copper end blade shortly after it was removed from the ice. (Government of Yukon photo)

A rare copper arrowhead was discovered on a remote Canadian mountaint is almost 900 years old, archaeologists have confirmed.

The arrowhead, which is on the point of a perfectly preserved pair of antlers arrow was found sticking out of the ice patch in canada’s Yukon Territory. The discovery, which was made in 2016 on an unnamed mountain, surprised experts.

“It was found near the top of a snowy mountain in the southwest of Yukon,” Yukon Archaeologist Greg Hare told Fox News. “It was an incredible discovery, we knew we were not going to be on that [ice] patch on that day.”

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The archaeologists were traveling in two helicopters with a documentary film crew when she noticed a caribou on the ice patch they were planning to land on. Instead, the helicopter landed on a small patch in the vicinity of snow where Senior Project Archaeologist Christian Thomas quickly spotted the arrow. “While we were there, we thought we would look around and within five minutes, Chris found this huge barbed antler point sticking out of the ice patch,” said the Hare.

Close-up of a huge barbed antler point, still locked up in ice. (Government of Yukon photo)

Including the barbed wire antlers and the copper end blade, the arrow is approximately 11 cm long.

The weapon was sent to the University of Ottawa, A. E. Lalonde laboratory for radiocarbon dating, where it was found to be about 850 years old.

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The discovery, which was made in cooperation with the Carcross/Tagish First Nations, sheds new light on the history of the Canadian Territory.

Yukon ice patch researchers (from left to right – Greg Haas, Nahanni Dynes and Michael Campbell) the treatment of a barbed antler point shortly after the discovery at the edge of a small Yukon ice patch. (Government of Yukon photo)

“This is one of the earliest examples we have of bow and arrow technology in the Yukon and it is the earliest known example of copper use in the Yukon,” Haas said.

Archaeologists have recovered approximately 250 objects from the melting of the ice patches in the Southern Yukon, almost all of which are bows and arrows or throwing darts.

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“The advantage of the ice patch project is that most of what we find of a organic element which we radiocarbon date,” he added. “We will never find this kind of things in a lowland setting – [arrow] is only preserved because it is locked in the ice for basically 1000 years,” Haas said.

The ice patch where the arrow was discovered, known locally as “Deuces Wild” is seen from the helicopter. (Government of Yukon photo)

“Secrets of the ice”, the CBC documentary about the Yukon ice patches, explained at the end of last year.

The arrow is not the only impressive archaeological find that has been preserved by the ice. Last year, a reindeer hunter found an 1100 year old Viking sword on a remote mountain in the South of Norway.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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