Sunday, 16 October 2016

The 2016 season of excavating "Deutsches Lager Hanko" is over.

The dig ended with wonderful finds and the discovery of several new interesting research areas. We will definitely continue excavations next year. On behalf of my team I would like to thank Sparbankssstiftelsen i Hangö, Hangö Sommaruniversitet, University of the Arts and Leica Finland for making this excavation season the best one in my over 30 year long career as an archaeologist in Finland.

A very special thanks goes out to all the wonderful archaeology students who worked with me in Hanko this season. Jasmin Jyrä, Anni Tolppanen and Jordan Paddison (University of Aberdeen) and Anu Varjo, Jenna Savolainen, Emmi Herranen, Lauretta Suomi, Jimena Biga, Toni Tossavainen and Teemu Väisänen (University of Helsinki dpt. of Archaeology).

Last but not least I would like to thank Jan Martti Kaila and Japo Knuutila for the painstaking work in combining photographic art and conflict archaeology in "Poetic Archaeology".

Without metal detectorist Lasse Nyman (Suomen Metallinetsijät r.y.) we would never have found many of the now excavated areas.

Below are a few pictures of yesterdays and todays finds from our conflict archaeology dig 14-16.10.2016.

Field made ring.

Kantine purchase ring.

Name tag for rifle.

"Organisation Todt Erkennungsmarke".

Broken "Helsinki Souvenir" mirror.

Field made ring with the year 1944.

Trial excavations underway.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Deutsches Lager Hanko, the October dig 14-16.10.2016.

Today we kicked off the last leg of the 2016 excavations of "Deutsches Lager Hanko" a German transition camp in Hanko S. Finland. Grey skies and a chilly plus 5 degrees C but the finds kept us warm.

Autumn in Hanko.

We made trial excavations in two separate areas of the camp. Below are a few of todays finds. I will update with more pictures tomorrow when we will be excavating fro a full day (today we only did three hours of excavating).

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Stone age- and conflict archaeology at Gymnasiet Lärkan

Today I visted "Gymnasiet Lärkan" in Helsinki to speak about conflict archaeology and archaeology in general to a group of students as part of their history class. I was invited to talk here by their very talented history teacher Martin Nugent.

The piano (played by students) in the entrance hall was absolutey stunning!

Lots of internationalism on the agenda obviously, as well as hands on ethical osteology, intriguing discussions on isotope and DNA analysis as well as relevant metal detecting issues. It was 90 mins of pure fun for me and apparently also for the audience.

Wehrmacht "Affe" tornister hook from "Deutsches Lager Hanko".

It is always nice to witness how well the educational system in Finland works. Hope to see students from this amazing school again during excavations in Hanko and my digs elsewere in Finland in 2017 :)

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Pristine Corded Ware Culture dwelling site documented and excavated in a forest in Raseborg SW Finland

Things looked very good from the beginning when last May we made some  promising small scale trial excavations in an area well above the previously well excavated Early Comb Ceramic dwelling site at Långåmossarna in Raseborg SW Finland.

We had already found quartz flakes here in the 1990´s but as we thought that the finds were related to the early comb ceramic period we didn´t consider the area worth exploring earlier. Surprisingly the finds from the trial pits in May/June 2016 included  quartz flakes and potsherds attributable only to the Corded Ware culture.

Yesterday and today we extended the trial excavations and the results were overwhelming. Two hearths (both attributable only to the Corded Ware Culture) and structural settings maybe related to a building that once stood here.

Finding a well preserved neolithic site like this at this somewhat late time of my archaeological career is fantastic news. Next year me and archaeologist Janne Soisalo will probably continue work where we left off today. Can´t wait :)

The trial excavations were financed by "Karis Musei- och Hembygdsförening" and "Sällskapet Natura" both in Raseborg, Finland. I was accompanied by wonderful students from the University of Helsinki dpt of Archaeology and very skilled local history enthusiasts,

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Beautiful Neolithic clay figurines found in Sweden

The figurines are strikingly similar to the ones found on  the Åland islands. According to archaeologist Niklas Björck (Riksantikvarieämbetet) they can be dated to around 2500 BC. This would make them approximately 800 years younger than the figurines from Vantaa Jokiniemi.

The find site is described as a seal hunting camp in the outer archipelago. outside the parish of Åkersberga.

More about the find here (in Swedish)

Monday, 19 September 2016

School days

Tomorrow is a great day as I will be travelling to Hanko S, Finland to reconnect with students from the may/june conflict archaeology dig of "Deutsches Lager Hanko.

Students digging into the WW2 history of Hitler´s war in the north.

I will be participating in a panel discussion with the students of Hankoniemen Lukio and the "International History Class". The students  will be presenting their research around WW2 in Hanko and I will be commenting on their research results from a conflict archaeology point of view.

Let´s see what the students have to say about the archaeological finds :)

Friday, 16 September 2016

WW2 "DEUTSCHES LAGER HANKO" excavation 14-16.10.2016 !

German WW2 RAD pin from Deutsches Lager Hanko.

I can finally confirm that we will be excavating and surveying "Deutsches Lager Hanko" on October 14-16th (Friday-Sunday). The excavation is open to anyone interested in world war two history. There is no participation fee. Work on site will be from 10-18, no previous experience  of conflict archaeology is required.

German and Finnish dogtags found during the 2016 excavations.

The research is part of my doctoral dissertation about the large German WW2 transition camp in Hanko, Tulliniemi S. Finland. We are working in close co-operation with the Finnish defence forces and the police. The excavation is financed by Hangö Sommaruniversitet.

German wound badge from "Deutsches Lager Hanko".

The town of Hanko offers several inexpensive accomodation alternatives this time of year. For accomodation in Hanko check out

Please send your letters of interest to as soon as possible!

See you in Hanko!