Via the Smithsonian website comes this article about Pyramiden, an abandoned Soviet town within the Arctic Circle in Svalbard.

Pyramiden Photo by Rachel Nuwer

Photo by Rachel Nuwer

In addition of a history of Pyramiden and its coal mines the article includes a short history of Svalbard itself but it’s the description of the place as it is now – as explored by a couple of archaeologists and a photographer – that’s most interesting.

For the first time, Bjerck—who had visited the town many times when it was still inhabited—was able to venture into the residents’ private rooms. Walls were still covered with maps, magazine clippings of nature or animals, pin-ups and stickers reading “Playboy,” “Puma,” and “Brooklyn,” to name a few. Many people had built homemade wind chimes and ornaments from paper clips, plastic bottles, string and cardboard, evidence of the town’s DIY mentality. “For me, if I don’t have a hanger, I just throw my jacket on a chair – I don’t go and make one myself,” Bjerck says. “But the closets were full of homemade coat hangers fashioned out of electrical wire.”

Author: Mark

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