Saturday, 11 July 2020

Rain

Rain is a real nuisance during archaeological fieldwork. Because of the very fine soil (mostly composed of sand and silt) at the Jokiniemi site and the continuous rain we were forced to cancel  todays excavation.

A rainy day.

But no worries we will still be able to spread the word about this amazing site. Instead of helping out at the dig archaeologist MA Teemu Väisänen speaks about excavation finds at Science Centre Heureka today. During the presentation visitors will be able to ask questions about the finds and archaeology in general.

Teemu Väisänen giving his presentation @ Heureka 11.7.2020.

Tomorrow we will finish this years excavation, carefully fill in the excavation areas and restore the general research area to its "pre excavation" state. 


After this me and Teemu will travel to Hanko for two intense weeks of WW2 Battlefield Archaeology of the Hanko Front (1941). More about that excavation here in the weeks to come.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Back to Jokiniemi - The excavations of the find site of the astounding neolithic clay figurine "Tuima" July 8th-12th 2020

Helsinki Summer University and Heureka joined forces this summer to try to find out the age of the realistic anthropomorphic clay figurine (photo below) that was found by a local on the neolithic dwelling site in Vantaa Jokiniemi in the late 1980´s.


An article about the anthropomorphic clay figurines from Jokiniemi was published by me in TIEDE magazine in March 2015. 


The mission to find out more about the amazing figure is very exiting. For the first time it is now possible to conduct scientific archaeological excavations of the actual find site. The age and the find context has intigued me for years and years.


Digging the neolithic. Photo Jan Fast 9.7.2020.


Since last Wednesday a team of some 40 amateur archaeologists have carried out archaeological excavations of the find site under the supervision of three experienced professional archaeologists. The finds have been plentiful and date to the time period around 3700-3300 BC.


Potsherds representing the middle and late comb ceramic culture found in association with the figurine. Photo Jan Fast 9.7.2020.


During that time period the hunter gatherer populations around the shores of the Baltic Sea not only traded with amber and other commodities, but also cultural influences were transmitted as part of the socio-economic interactions in the region.


Older typical comb ceramic ware. The oldest pottery on the find site dating to around 3700 BC. Photo Jan Fast 9.7.2020.

It is therefore no wonder that the nearest similar figurines to those found i Vantaa S. Finland are found on neolithic dwelling sites in present day Latvia. The sea connected the people living along its shorelines.



The excavations in Jokiniemi continue until Sunday. For daily updates please visit our Facebook page


https://www.facebook.com/Jokiniemi2020/

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Last day of the Kläppkärr excavation

Yeaterday we finished the excavation and filled up the 40 square meter excavation area. The wonderful stone-age finds continued to the last minutes of the dig.



Because of the severe heat the filling up of the excavation area proved a bit more harder than usual but thanks to all the wonderful people in the team the job went smoothly.


All of the thousands of excavation finds are now beeing cleaned and sorted. Radiocarbon datings are expected sometime next spring. The macrofossile samples will hopefully be analyzed in 2021.  

As for us it´s now time for a short break before the next community archaeology excavation in Vantaa Jokiniemi (S. Finland, larger Helsinki region) on July 8th. 

Friday, 26 June 2020

Day 5/6 of the Espoo Kläppkärr excavation

The excavation nears its end but beautiful pottery finds keeps turning up in layer three (40 cm below ground surface). Today some of the Early Comb Ceramic potsherds showed very intricate decoration indeed!


Ve recovered a couple of large Early Comb Ceramic potsherds in a sterile manner in order to secure representative radiocarbon dates and samples from the crust that has stuck to the inside the vessels.

The large potsherds were wrapped in tin foil and then packed into plastic bags. Photo Jan Fast.

We also encountered in what seems to be a small waste deposit pit from the Corded Ware Culture. Soil samples of this as well as a refuse pit with finds of large early comb ceramic potsherds were collected too.


Tomorrow it´s time to fill in the excavation areas and say goodbye to this wonderful site but  I´m sure nice finds will pop up until the ast minute of the dig :)


Two more beat up stone tools were recovered today. Photo Jan Fast.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Day 4/6 of the Espoo Kläppkärr excavation.

This day was Hot ("Hot like California") to quote Finnish rock band Reckless love ;)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV8wPokZNig . 


Also first time in my over 30 year long career as an archaeologist to have a birthday cake presented to me at the excavation along with the classic HBD song sung by the excavation team :)


After the tasty and very summery cake we continued the excavation. This 4th day produced interesting early comb ceramic finds including an intact slender chisel.



 
As is often the case with excavations of stone age dwelling sites, the potsherds increase in size when digging the deeper layers. This was true today too and some very nice early comb ceramic potsherds stated to surface in the southernmost part of the excavation area in layer three.


The finds of burnt bone continue to few and far between, Atm we are up to only approximately 30 bone fragments which is a very small amount indeed. Luckily a couple of the fragments are from joints and can possibly be identified by an osteologist at some stage.


Tomorrow we will probably finish of the deepest excavation layers over the whole excavation area. Let´s see what we find!



Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Day 3/6 of the Espoo Kläppkärr excavation

What a fantastic summers day (again) with lots of finds from the Corded Ware Culture! Thanks to the large number of participants and some extra helping hands todays work advanced very smoothly. The joy of participating in the excavation could be seen on everyones faces and even the clothing of some of the participants.

This colourful hat came from Spain. Photo Jan Fast.

The excavation continued to produce representative stone-age finds, potsherds in particular. The potsherds from the Corded Ware Culture dominated in number but the Early Comb Ceramic were very stylish.

Early Comb Ceramic potsherds. Photo Jan Fast.

Corded Ware Culture potsherds. Photo Jan Fast.

Tomorrow we will be extending the trial excavation area a bit to the west where we hope to be able to find the upper (older) find zone. Thumbs up and let´s see what tomorrow will bring.

Summer <3 . Photo Jan Fast.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Day 2/6 of the Espoo Kläppkärr archaeological excavation

A beautiful summers day (+27 C) with hundreds of finds mostly from the corded ware culture ca 2900-2200 BC but also tens of early comb ceramic finds ca 4500-4200 BC.

Corded Ware Culture potsherd (top) and Early Comb Ceramic potsherd (bottom). In Situ photo Jan Fast.

During this second day of excavations our team managed to dig through the first 10 cm:s of the estimated 30 cm thick find layer. 



The first larger item was a whetstone with the looks of a femur (bone). Interesting quartz cores found during todays excavation might help to gain insight in the quarts technology of the Corded Ware Culture.

 





Tomorrow we will dig into layer two :)