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Astonishing Discovery: 1,700-year-old Ao Dai And Shoes Found Preserved Beneath Leidbreen Glacier

In a groundbreaking archaeological find, researchers have unearthed a 1,700-year-old Ao Dai and a pair of shoes, remarkably preserved beneath the icy depths of the Leidbreen Glacier. This discovery not only sheds light on ancient garment-making techniques but also offers a rare glimpse into the daily life and culture of the era.

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The Ao Dai, a traditional Vietnamese garment, was found alongside leather shoes, both astonishingly maintained due to the cold, dry conditions under the glacier. The items were discovered during a routine expedition by a team of archaeologists from the University of Oslo, who were initially studying glacial melting patterns in the region.


Dr. Henrik Borg, the lead archaeologist on the expedition, expressed his excitement about the find. “It’s incredibly rare to find organic materials like fabric and leather preserved for so long. The cold, stable environment of the glacier has essentially frozen time,” he explained. Analysis of the garments suggests they date back to the 3rd century, a time when the Ao Dai was not as commonly documented in historical records.

The discovery is particularly significant because it provides concrete evidence of the Ao Dai’s existence and use in ancient times, much earlier than most historians believed. The style of the Ao Dai and the shoes also offers insights into the fashion and craftsmanship of the period, indicating a sophisticated understanding of garment construction that could have catered to both aesthetic desires and practical needs.

The fabric of the Ao Dai is made of silk, hinting at a connection with the Silk Road and suggesting that the wearer might have been someone of considerable social standing. The shoes, made from a durable form of leather, appear to have been well-crafted to withstand harsh conditions, which correlates with the strategic need for resilient clothing in a glacier-rich environment.

The implications of this discovery are vast. Historians and archaeologists are keen to explore how this find alters our understanding of cultural exchanges in ancient times, particularly between East Asia and other parts of the world. The garments are set to undergo further analysis, including carbon dating and microscopic textile studies, to uncover more about the materials used and the preservation conditions.

As the research continues, this remarkable find not only highlights the preservation capabilities of glaciers but also tells an intriguing story of human history frozen in time. It opens up new dialogues and questions about the spread of culture and technology across ancient civilizations and provides a tangible connection to the past that was almost lost to the ice.


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