Sunday 21 February 2016

3rd session cleaning neolithic excavation finds @ Heureka the Finnish Science Centre

What a wonderful community archaeology event. Some 20 + participants and we got a lot of work done! Three archaeology students from The University of Helsinki dpt of Archaeology participated too :). Thank You Heureka for supplying us with the facilities and the opportunity to view the 2015 excavations in 3D.

Cleaning in progress. Photo Liisa Tuominen-Roto.

One of the participants came up with the great idea that cleaning excavation finds is actually very meditative and could be used when practising mindfullness and generally promoting well-being :)

Neolithic excavation finds and the cleaning "tools" :) Liisa Tuominen-Roto.

Because of the huge popularity of the event we are planning one more opportunity for the general public to get involved with this part of the archaeological research process. 

Saturday 20 February 2016

Heritage hunting in Finnish forests (2014)

In state forests, the search is on for ancient artefacts and sites. Archaeologists working for Metsähallitus, the state enterprise managing forests, have been scouring the woods for five summers. Their oldest finds date back to the Stone Age.

Metsähallitus archaeologists Esa Hertell and Olli Eranti discovered Stone Age implements from the shores of Lake Koitere. Image: Pertti Huotari / Yle

Archaeologists Esa Hertell and Olli Eranti move through the woods of the eastern municipality of Ilomantsi, looking for signs of human life from times gone by.

Hertell and Eranti work for Metsähallitus, the state-owned enterprise that administers more than 12 million hectares of state-owned land and water areas in Finland.

At the southern tip of Lake Hattujärvi, the men stop to examine a depression in the ground, which turns out to be the floor of a Stone Age dwelling. People stayed here more than 9,000 years ago.

Hertell says such sites can often be found by reasoning.
“These kinds of Stone Age sites are usually found on sandy lake-shores, on the sunny side,” the scientist notes, adding: “Sometimes there are coincidences, but we first look at the map and then go to opportune places.”

While basing most of their work on maps, Hertell and Eranti sometimes also get tipped off by locals as well as other Metsähallitus forest planners.

Four million hectares, with euros to match

This is the fifth summer such an inventory has been carried out in forests across the country. Four million euros from wood sales have been budgeted towards this work of mapping out cultural heritage hidden in Finnish nature. By next year, when the project finishes, some four million hectares of land should have been surveyed.
“This work will benefit every Finn who is interested from where we come from, what life was like before, and what lies here in the forests,” Hertell says.

A dream job

Aiding Hertell is archaeology student Olli Eranti. For him, surveying the land for ancient findings is a dream job, and in many ways very similar to the kinds of work that graduated archaeologists would do.

While searching the shoreline of Lake Koitere, Eranti spots a group of white, sharp-edged stones under the water. According to the men, these stones were used by Stone Age people to cut meat and scrape out skins.

Eranti marks the spot in a computer. The data will later be moved to Metsähallitus and National Board of Antiquities databases.

The Board of Antiquities’ heritage registry is a database open to the public, while Metsähallitus will use the data in making decisions on protecting sites.

Friday 19 February 2016

Viimeinen Jokiniemen kaivauslöytöjen puhdistustilaisuus Heurekassa la 20.2.2016

Huomenna lauantaina, 20.2.2016, on kaikilla kaivauksiin vuosien varrella osallistuneilla vihoviimeisen kerran mahdollisuus osallistua Jokiniemen kaivausten löytöjen puhdistustyöhön.
Kesän 2015 kaivauslöytöjä puhdistetaan Tiedekeskus Heurekan ryhmätyötiloissa lauantaina klo 10.00-17.00.

Kaivauslöytöjen puhdistamisen ohessa on myös mahdollisuus tutustua Jokiniemen 2015 kaivauksiin virtuaalisesti (360 virtuaalilasien avulla)!

Sydämellisesti Tervetuloa!

Jan Fast

Thursday 4 February 2016

Finnish archaeologists presented their 2015 excavations live over the Internet!

What an interesting day this was. For some 30-years Finnish archaeologists have gathered at the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki to share their yearly excavations and research but this time it was VERY different! For the first time ever the Finnish archaeologists were able to communicate the results of their 2015 research live over the Internet (and de facto over the world).

 "Old school" presentation from 1997

The event was broadcasted from the National Museum  and lasted from 9 am to 4.45 PM. This must have been a very exiting thing for many of the presenters/archaeologists but  I felt very proud of my colleagues.

Archaeologist Esa Mikkola is the be(a)st ! He stood for the best presentation today, the wintery archaeological excavation of a 16th century bridge.

There were of course some things to improve. A split screen showing the audience would have been helpful along with a possibility to ask the lecturers short questions over the Internet The language of the presentations should be in English of course and so on... But the main thing is that the National Board of Antiquities and the National Museum of Finland made the Event happen!!!

Actually I can´t wait for the presentations tomorrow, It´s allmost better than Ice Hockey at least if  the archaeologists and the audience  get into some hefty discussions or fights :). The presentations start at 9 am Finnish time! Be there or stay at home, grab a coffee or a beer and enjoy!

Right now! Streaming live video from the 2015 archaeology presentations from the National Museum in Helsinki Finland

This is really great news, it´s the first time the presentations can be watched on-line. Despite some slight problems everything seems to run rather smoothly. Click on the link below the picture to see the presentations.

This is a two day event. Today it´s about old roads and their value in archaeological research. Tomorrow the topics vary from ground breaking stone-age research to presentations of iron age and medieval period excavation projects!

Because this can be seen abroad I hope that at least some of the presentations will be in english next year! If I´m invited to speak about the conflict archaeology of "Deutsches Lager Hanko 1942-1944" in 2017 at least that presentation will be in english.

For more about the National Museum of Finland visit: