Wednesday, 12 July 2023

Happy days exploring the stone-age in Turku Jäkärlä

The huge stone-age dwelling dwelling site in Jäkärlä NE of Turku has been excavated by numerous Finnish archaeologists for over 100 years. Despite this the area still "keeps on giving" plenty of interesting finds related to the Jäkärlä Culture (4050-3850 BC) and the Corded Ware Culture (2900-2100 BC).

Jäkärlä during excavations in 1907 (photo Björn Cederhvarf).

This year the excavation was arranged in two parts ranging from 7.6. – 10.6  and  11.6. – 14.6.2023. Some 40 persons participated in the excavation that was financed by Åbo Svenska Arbetarinstitut.

Excavation in progress.

This excavation revealed part of a stone-age house. The floor had been dug some 70 cms below ground surface. All of the finds from the structure could be attributed to the Jäkärlä culture. The finds included both beautifully decorated potsherd as well as stone artefacts like slate chisels, porfyrite scrapers and what could be a stone pestle.

 Assorted finds from this years excavation.

Next years excavation will probably run for a total of ten days. In 2024 we wish to be able to look closer at the nearby Corded Ware Culture dwelling site and complete the excavation of the house foundation. Why not join us then 💛

Tuesday, 11 July 2023

Fantastic finds from the 2023 excavation of Lohja Kittiskoski E.

As the saying goes "only excavate beautiful places" the saying fits perfectly for the Kittiskoski E site in Lohja W of Helsinki. 

The site is still close to water as it was during prehistoric times..

But it´s not only the setting that is beautiful but so are the finds from several different prehistoric periods from the early Comb Ceramic Period (ca 4500 BC) all the way until the early Iron Age (ca 200 AD). This years excavation was a rather short one and lasting only four days from June 2nd. until June 5th. 2023. The excavation was financed by Hiiden Opisto.

A few of this years finds (pottery, a flint arrowhead and a slate ring brooch) dating to the Typical Comb Ceramic culture (3900-3400 BC).

Features like hearths have been observed during previous excavations but this season we managed to excavate a well preserved one. Several bags of soil samples were taken for macrofossile and C14 analysis.

The hearth. Photo Jarno Ekman.

Next season we hope to be able to continue the excavations for a longer period of time. The site really deserves it.

Tuesday, 27 June 2023

Excavating Korsholm Castle and Kings Manor 22-31.5.2023.

The first signs of summer were visible when we started this years excavation of Korsholm Castle on the 22nd of May 2023. The ten day long excavation was financed by the Finnish Cultural foundation and Alma opisto.

The first five days of this years excavation was coodinated by SÖFUK and the participants were schoolchildren from local schools. The objective was to excavate the top layers of the excavation area to a depth of one meter below ground surface. The excavation produced many beautiful finds from the 19th to the 17th centuries such as buttons, coins and glass fragments. Time sure flies when you have fun. 


The second leg of the excavation was reserved for adut students at the Alma opisto and arranged as a community archaeology field school. More beautiful finds turned up on a daily basis. Finally we reached timber structures and untouched cultural layers some 1,5 meters below ground surface.

Finally just two days before the end of the excavation we reached timber structures and untouched cultural layers some 70 centimeters - 1,5 meters below ground  surface. Wood, C14 and macrofossile samples were taken from the layers and sent to Moesgaard museum and the University of Turku for analysis. 

In a couple of months, after we receive the results we will decide about the research strategy of these interesting find layers. Mapping and trial excavations of other areas of Korsholm Castle will continue in September.

Saturday, 10 June 2023

Part one. A fantastic week exploring the stone-age dwelling site Vävarsbacka II in Porvoo.

Between the 15th - 19th of May 2023 we continued our community archaeology excavations of this fantastic Neolithic Stone-Age site in Porvoo. Time sure flies, this was already our 6th excavation here since the start in 2018. The excavatons have been funded by Borgå Medborgarinstitut since the beginning.

Vävarsbacka II was first inhabited around 3900 BC and according to our research the last period of habitation occured around 2300 BC but this is of course only a rough estimate. This complex multiperiod site is both fascinating and rich in finds and we hope to be able to continue the excavations for several more years and with the second leg of this years excavation taking place already in September 2023.

This years excavation mostly produced artefacts from the Late Typical Comb Ceramic period (ca 3600-3400 BC) but we also found some asbestos tempered potsherds that can be attributed to the so called Pöljä phase (ca 3500-2500 BC)as well as pottery from the Pyheensilta phase (ca 3200-2400 BC).

One potshed with a cross shaped ornament is unique in Finland and shows that despite strict rules seem to have guided the decoration of pottery during the Comb Ceramic Culture at least some form of personal artistic expression was allowed.

Friday, 9 June 2023

An exeptionally beautiful moose shaped artefact found in Kuusamo E. Finland in May 2023

Today the National Heritage Agency announced an astonishing new find of a Moose shaped artefact propably dating to the end of the Neolithic or early bronze-age (possibly ca 2000 BC). Please notice the "leaf shaped" ears, the open mouth and the incised lines running from the nostrils to the ears.

The newly found Kuusamo axehead. Photo by the National Heritage Agency/Matti Kilponen.

The axehead was found by two locals while clearing away a large stone near their summer cottage by the shore and next to their summerhome. Archaeologist from the local museum have inspected the site and reported signs of a stone-age dwelling site at the find site (in the lower right corner of the picture below).
The find site. Photo Mika Sarkkinen, Pohjois-Pohjanmaan museo.

The newly found xehead is very similar to the so called "Säkkijärvi axehead" that was found in the 1890´s and it is even possible that it could be from the same maker. Research of the artifacts has just only started and we of course expect more results results shortly.

The almost similar Säkkijärvi axehed was found in the 1890´s.

Please read more about the find here and check the 3D model of the axehead by clicking on the link below (only in Finnish sorry).

Wednesday, 7 June 2023

Finding the Fallen and Second World War Conflict Archaeology of the Hanko Front (1941)

Between May 8th and 12th 2023 our multidisciplinary research team made a series of excavations and surveys of the Battlefields on the Hanko Front. The work included pedgogic community archaeology excavations of the frontlines on the mainland with schoolchildren from schools in Raseborg, Hanko and Lohja as well as repatriation of fallen soldiers in the northern archipelago off Cape Hanko. The work was funded by Thure Galléns stiftelse and a local benificiary.

Our first mission was to resarch the remains of one of the larger shelters called "Royal" that was built  by Swedish volunteers from Svenska Frivilligbataljonen during the late summeer and autumn of 1941. The trial excavation revealed interesting well preserved structural remains  and we will excavate this shelter in full in the spring of 2024.

After this it was time to head for the archipelago to map one of the more ferocius battles between Soviet and Finnish troops in 1941. Several fallen soldiers from both sides are still missing after the bitter fighting that took place here and it is time to bring the war to a close for these guys. We also made a first attempt to find the remains åf Swedish volunteer Åke Löfstedt who is till missing after a recoinnasance raid in August 1941.

No fallen soldiers were discovered this time but we will continue ur work here in the spring and summer of 2024. The battlefield in the archipalago will be surveyed in detail later this summer. 

Sunday, 7 May 2023

Cold War Conflict Archaeology weekend researching a tank crew training ground

Immediately after the end of the Finnish/German-Soviet War of 1941-1944 the Soviet Union imposed, that the areas west of Helsinki, around Kirkkonummi, Porkkalanniemi, Upinniemi and the fortress island of Mäkiluoto, were to be emptied of all population and leased to the USSR for 50 years, for the purpose of establishing a Soviet naval base. Finland had no choice but to agree, despite the obvious threat to Helsinki. The base became known as Porkkala Udd in the USSR.

Between 2022 and 2026 the remains of the Cold War structures of the former Soviet Naval Base are excavated, documented and mapped by the "Porkkala 1944-1956" modern conflict archaeology project. This weekend the work was concentrated to a tank crew training area in Kirkkonummi.

          The picture of a tank carved into a piece of tyre rubber.

This weekend the research focused on a large over 300 square meter rectangular building foundation and nearby dumpsites. 

         Part of the well preserved concrete structure is revealed.

The finds were no less than fantastic giving an insight in the daily life of the Soviet soldiers who served here soon after the Second World War.



A few finds from the first two days of research.

The site is quite a complex one so it is certain that we will be reseraching it during several upcoming field seasons. Already in Septemeber we will return to the site for another five days of excavations. In 2023 local schools will also be invited to participate.