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Relics found as Swiss Glaciers Melt Can now be logged on an App

People who discover archaeological relics revealed by retreating glaciers in the Swiss Alps can now use a new app to log the location and help preserve their findings.

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The IceWatcher app should help the authorities collect information on the finds as quickly as possible.

“Preserved and isolated by ice, these elements are particularly fragile as soon as they are released,” said a statement from the authorities in the Valais canton.

“The cold preserves certain organic material in a remarkable way, but once out of this protective covering, the relics start degrading, which can quickly lead to their disappearance.”

Many discoveries are made by summer hikers and winter ski tourers.

Mont Fort glacier, Switzerland

Mont Fort glacier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Aletsch glacier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Aletsch glacier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

There are some forecasts 95% of the 4,000 Alpine glaciers could disappear by the end of this century.

In Switzerland the glaciers have melted by 10% in the last 5 years alone.

The app is free to download and people should select the type of object discovered, take a close-up photo with a comparable object for scale and a wider shot of the landscape indicating where the object was found.

They are advised not to touch it.

The authorities say there are up to 10 discoveries of interest per year and it is expected this number will rise as the glaciers melt.

Here on PlanetSKI we have reported on interesting finds as glaciers melt.

One is further discoveries on the Bossons glacier in the Mont Blanc massif, which has revealed other remains since a plane crashed on 24th January 1966, killing everyone on board:

And there have been recent important discoveries in Scandinavia:

Retreating alpine glaciers. Image © PlanetSKI

Retreating alpine glaciers. Image © PlanetSKI

Retreating alpine glaciers. Image © PlanetSKI

Retreating alpine glaciers. Image © PlanetSKI

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