timeline
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Background

This list of historical events was compiled in 2005/7 by a working group of ski historians from several countries. It will inevitably change as research reveals changes to contemporary knowledge – and corrections are welcome from any qualified historians who do not agree with the list. Equally inevitably, the history of skiing is ongoing and important developments will be added as they occur. The events/people/places listed all have significance that is clearly stated. It is important for would-be contributors to give the source of their item(s), with full bibliographic reference, including page numbers. This not only lets interested parties find the material easily but also gives authority to the Timeline which aims at becoming a major reference work.

From 1897 until today about 250 pieces of skis and some poles have been dug up in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.They range in age from about 6000 BC to 600 AD. The Chinese are claiming that pictographs found in the Altai region are between 10,000 and 20,000 years old. We all await scientific confirmation.

A major source is Gösta Berg's Finds of Skis from Prehistoric Time in Swedish Bogs, (Generalstabens Litografiska Anstalts Förlag.) 1950, Stockholm, whose book, as the title makes plain, analyses only those from Sweden. Other Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Russian researchers have also written on bog skis. The list below of these skis includes the earliest finds from each country and also those which have something special about them. Inevitably the list is subjective.

Other major sources are Carl Egger's Geschichtliches in Ski 1909, indicated by Egger*; Wilhelm Paulcke's Die Geschichte des Ski Club Schwarzwald in Ski 1906-7, indicated by Paulcke*, Arnold Lunn's A History of Ski-ing 1927indicated by Lunn* and Gerd Falkner's Meilensteine der Internationalen und Deutschen Skigeschichte. In DSV-Lehrbriefe. Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Skiverbandes Heft 5. Freiburg 2002, S.22-25 or Band 2 Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Skiverbandes “Skisport an Schulen” Planegg 2004, S. 94-101 indicated by Falkner Meilensteine*.

In prehistoric times Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia did not exist as political states but we have used 2007 political borders when listing the various skis. The same may be said of China and - later - when we record information from Germany, Austria and other countries, we use today's frontiers even though many have changed and some have disappeared.

Historians now use BP for “before present” but we have kept to BC and AD. Dating is now done by radio carbon and pollen analysis and is given as follows: 5820+/-80BC – that is to say between 5900 and 5740BC.

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