What's This? December 2020

A Cool Discovery

A Medieval Horseshoe

Oppland County Council archaeologists discovered a horse snowshoe in the receding Lendbreen ice patch in Norway in 2019. The snowshoe, which is believed to be from the viking or medieval periods, measures 40 by 30 centimeters.

Traditionally snow shoes were made with a ring of juniper and attached with a fastener made from a tough, flexible root shoot from a birch tree.

A number of equine-related finds have been discovered in the Lendbreen ice patch including other medieval horseshoes, nails, manure and the bones from two packhorses. One set is from the 15th century, while the other is about 1,500 years old.


Contributions: Do you have a shoe or tool you would like to share or want more information about? Submit photos of your item as well as its history and how it was used to Kristen Kubisiak at

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