Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Day 4/13. Excavating the Kittiskoski E multiperiod dwelling site in Lohja SW. Finland

Day two of the informal learning/pedagogic archaeology for schoolchildren part of the excavation. Today we excavated with some 20 students and two teachers from Ristin koulu. During the day I also had plenty of time to discuss pedagogic methods with schoolteacher Milaja Sippola.

Schoolteacher Milaja Sippola and archaeologist Janne Soisalo with boxed excavation finds.

The day progressed very well with approximately the same program as yesterday and by the end of the day both the archaeologists, the schoolchildren and the teachers finished off in a happy and relaxed mood.

At times the excavation area was "a bit" crowded.

The top find of today was a large quartz scraper alog with a fragment of a flint artefact, Typical Comb Ceramic ware, quartz and flint flakes and burnt bone. The students participated in marking the exact find spot for each find.

View towards NW from the Kittoski E site.

Tomorrow will be very busy with some 40 schoolchildren participating so its a good thing that we have had the time to practice our tasks with smaller groups first.



Monday, 23 May 2022

Day 3/13. Excavating the Kittiskoski E multiperiod dwelling site in Lohja SW. Finland

Today was the first day of the 9 day long pedagogic archaeology and informal part of the dig with twenty-one 12 year old students from Rauhalan koulu participating. Upon arrival the students were divided into tree smaller groups who altered between three different activities during the day.

The first activity area was the archaeological excavation site. This was maybe the activity the students had been waiting for the most. Some really nice small finds turned up in the top layer including a fragment of an amber pendant.

Archaeologist Janne Soisalo supervising the students on th dig site.

The second activity area consisted of a stone-age quiz on a mobile app. After some initial difficulties this activity proved very good too and the students eagerly photographed the excavation finds, the excavation site and the beautiful nature. The most successfull student was awarded a 10 e gift card.

Students used their cell phones to add photos and answer questions about life in the stone-age.

The third part of this different school day consisted of walking a nature trail guided by a forestry expert. During the walk the students got accuainted with the different forest types in the area. In sunny and warm weather this too was much appreciated by the students.

Differen forest types in the area of the prehistoric dwelling site.


Sunday, 22 May 2022

Day 2/13. Excavating the Kittiskoski E multiperiod dwelling site in Lohja SW. Finland

This day was all about the Neolithic Stone-Age with many finds of beautiful pottery from several different periods of the stone-age. The weather too was on our side and this day was the first that almost felt like summer <3 

Just a cpouple of minutes into the 2nd day of excavations we ran into a couple of concentrated areas with a multitude of well preserved potsherds. The oldest potsherds found today can be attributed to the Typical Comb Ceramic period (Ka II:2) ca 3900-3400 BC.


 
So called Typical Comb Ceramic ware ca 3900-3400 BC.

The second concentration of finds consisted of potsherds of so called Uskela or Late Comb Ceramic ware (Ka III:1) ca 3600-3200 BC. These clay vessels where only ornated with horisontal zones of pits or pitlike shallow impressions probably made with a bone.


Late Comb Ceramic ware ca 3600-3200 BC.

We also recovered more potsherds from the Corde Ware Culture dating to ca 3200-2300 BC. The find raised our hopes of finding more signs of this interesting stage in Neolithic Finland.

Corded Ware ca 3200-2300 BC.

For the next nine days we will be excavating with schoolchildren from several ocal schools and after that it will be back to basics again with two more days of excavation with the students from Hiidn Opisto. 

Our trustworthy companion Esa helped us out with clearing the excavation area for the schoolchildren but also had time to excavate two trial pits.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Day 1/13. Excavating the Kittiskoski E multiperiod dwelling site in Lohja SW. Finland

After a couple of days of rest it was today time to kick off the community archaeology excavation of the stone-, and early metal period dwelling site in Kittiskoski. To our surprise this day yielded the first middle Iron-Age potsherds ever found on this very interesting site.

Iron-Age potsherds from todays excavation.

Other datable finds from today were potsherds from the typical and late stages of the Comb Ceramic Cultures as well as one potsherd attributable to the Corded Ware Culture. The finds testify to the several thousand years of habitation of the site. 

Typical comb ceramic potsherd from todays excavation.

On this first day the excavation was attended by 17 persons. The participants were in for a surprise already from the start when the topsoil estimated to be about 10 cm:s thick proved to be three or four times thicker. Adding to this part of the cultural layer was still frozen solid after the cold spring. As a  result this first day of the excavation was mainly spent using the shovel.

Excavating layer one. 

So looking forward to tomorrow when we reach the  2nd and 3rd levels of the find layer. More Neolithic finds for sure but hopefully also some more items from the Iron-Age. Thumbs up!

The excavation area pre-excavation.




Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Day 7/7. Excavating the Vävarsbacka II neolithic stone-age dwelling site in Porvoo S. Finland

Today was the last day of this years excavation of this beautiful neolithic site. The day was mostly dedicated to filling up the excavation area and cleaning up the surroundings. Despite this the site once again surprised us with a very nice find during the last hour of the excavation.

The flint knife probably had its tip broken off already in the stone age. The remaining part of the blade was preserved in the handle and discarded when the owner replaced it with a new one. The blade shows crackling possibly caused by fire. A beautiful last find indeed.


A fragmentary flint knife. The flint is of "eastern" origin.

The filling up was hard work, but the whole team made an excellent effort and by 1 PM the excavation area wasreturned to its original state.


Filling up the hole.

In the afternoon we made a small test pit to test the area of next years excavation. The finds were very promising so I think we have found the spot for our two week long excavation in 2023. A big thanks to Borgå Medborgarinstitut and all of the participants in this years field course. You rock!


Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Day 6/7. Excavating the Vävarsbacka II neolithic stone-age dwelling site in Porvoo S. Finland

Today we focused on the documentation of a few very interesting features of the excavation area. During the almost one thousand years of prehistoric occupation of the site the stone-age inhabitants have dug several pits of different sizes on the dwelling site. Before documentation these areas need to be carefully "cleaned" so that the different details of the pits show up nicely on photos.

Jemina R. tidying up the cross-section of the largest stone-age pits in the NE part of the excavation area.

The pits were probably dug for a wide variety of different reasons. Most of them can be classified as trash or refuse pits, while others look like having been used as hearths, possibly for burning pottery.

The dark soil inside an oval shaped pit 1,5 m in diameter, shows up clearly against the coarse gravel surrounding it.

In the dark sandy filling of the largest of the pits we found potsherds, burnt bone and quartz flakes. In both of the smaller pits we found a few small quartz artefacts along with the chisels found before. The purpose of these smaller pits remains a mystery.

The stone-age pits with darker soil inside of them stand out in contrast against the bottom (gravel) layer.




Monday, 16 May 2022

Day 5/7. Excavating the Vävarsbacka II neolithic stone-age dwelling site in Porvoo S. Finland

The fifth day of the excavation of the stone-age dwelling site once again offered several fantastic moments when neolithic finds kept popping up over almost the entire excavation area. Todays most spectacular and interesting find was a complete nail shaped chisel ("kynsitaltta").

Nail shaped chisel found today at the Vävarsbacka II excavation. Photo Minna Turunen.

What this tiny but very sharp precision tool was used for remains a mystery. It is associated to the later stages of the Comb Ceramic Culture ca 3600-3200 BC. The beautiful item was found only some 30 cm:s from the slate chisel that was found yesterday.

Excavating layer five. 

The excavation has progressed according to plan and tomorrow we will probably be excavating the bottom layers. Usually at this stage the excavation site provides something unexpected, let´s see what tomorrow will bring.

The situation on May 12th and today on May 16th 2022.