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The Creation Of Skiing Essay

1449 words - 6 pages

A blanket of white surrounds the men. From atop the high ridge, they spot a lone deer in the distance. The snow inhibits its progression. The men do not need to worry it escaping. Their families will eat well tonight. Using a new invention that they call skis, they quickly overtake the deer. They are able to stay on top of the snow. They quickly slay the deer, and then begin their long trek back to their families. Climbing back over the ridge was no problem, as their skis did not slide backwards, no matter how steep it got. These men did not need to worry about providing food for their families. They could easily cover great distances using long thin wooden planks that became known as skis. Those ancient skis were not like the skis we know. They were much longer and wider, meant for staying on top of the snow. They only used one pole instead of two, the one pole meant for pushing themselves along. They did not use the skis for fun or play. They used the skis for work and transportation. Skis were a great display of ancient ingenuity and inventiveness. Because of those ancient people’s need to move through the snow, skis were created in either Scandinavia or the Atlai region and became an important tool to survive in their winters.
Archeologists have found lots of evidence that skis were used very early on in the history of the world. They are not sure where exactly skis were first created but they have two possible areas where skis might have been originally created. See figure 1. From 1897 until today about 250 pieces of skis and some poles have been dug up, mostly in bogs, in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. They range in age from about 6000 BC to 600 AD. The Chinese are claiming that pictographs [of skis] found in the Altai region are between 10,000 and 20,000 years old which they think proves that skiing was created in Asia before Scandinavia. The method used for dating these findings is by using the radiological C14 dating method. This method is unique for dating organic material. Ski findings in Norway are dated at the National Laboratory for C14 Dating in Trondheim. Rock paintings and skis preserved in bogs show that hunters and trappers used skis at least 5000 years ago. Winters were hard for the people of the time. They were mainly hunters. The people followed animals around so they could stay alive. When skis were created, the nomadic people were able to hunt animals easier in the harsh winter months.
The skis of those times were not like the skis we know today. See figure 2. Instead of pleasure and fun being the factors for the creation of the skis, work and transportation were the big factors. Early skis were not made for speed, but were designed instead to keep the travelers on top of the snow as they went about their business. The skis display a great amount of intelligence by how they were created. Carefully placed horsehair prevented backwards motion on the skis, but did nothing to inhibit any...

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