Friday 8 April 2016

Invitation WWII Conflict Archaeology dig in Hanko 27.6-15.7.2016.

You are all invited to participate in the archaeological excavations of "Deutsches Lager Hanko"!

Mannschaftsbaracke 2016.

Contacts and registration through Hangö Sommaruniversitet:

Metal detected gold coin returned to finder in Finland

The 18th century gold "Ducate" found by renowned metal detectorist Hannu Martikainen in Finland has been returned to him along with a certificate of it having been scientifically evaluated by the National Board of Antiquities.

Gold coin.

The find was assessed as a stray find without clear historical context. The decision is in my opinion a good and solid one and serves to clearify the ongoing discussion here in Finland. One can hope that this will result in more detectorists reporting their detected soins to the authorities in the future.

Gold award.

It´s all about context, not about monetary value.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Money for nothing?

Once again the talk is about the financial rewards and "value" of  metal detected finds here in Finland. According to Finnish law the finder has a right to receive a reward for his over 100 years old find if the National Board of Antiquities decide to claim it for their collections. The total amount reserved for this in Finland is only 5 000 euros per year.

Picture from the BBC series "Detectorists".

Because of this (and quite understandably) the rewards for single finds are often not very high, Usually in the tens of euros for a common medieval silver coin or maybe some 50 euros a gold coin from the beginning of the 18th century that was found in a ploughed field with no historical context (below). 

Whats it worth?

My question is why these rewards are paid in the first case? Valuable historical objects from a historical contexts belong to the National Museum, end of question. Donating these kind of finds without compensation should be the rule.

Paying rewards for obvious stray finds (in my opinion) simply constitutes bad economic judgement (even if the general sums are small) and only serves the purpose of yearly debates about the economic "value" of the priceless faint clues into our common heritage.

Monday 4 April 2016

Fragment of a massive Viking Age bracelet found in Porvoo S. Finland.

Today Mr Hannu Hannu Martikainen, one of the most trustworthy and talented metal detectorists researching the area of S. Finland stumbled upon, and immediately reported a very interesting iron age find, a fragment of a massive Viking Age metal bracelet. 

 Vikng Age bracelet fragmen´t from Porvoo, S. Finland.

The find surfaced in Porvoo S. Finland, in an area very, very far from the central Viking age dwelling site areas in S. and SW Finland. 

The find actually stopped me in my tracks. It s a showcase example of talented detectorist thinking outside the box. Searching not for the obvious, but for the new and surprising.

This is what the bracelet could have looked like AD 800-1000.

From what I can see from the first pictures the bracelet fragment has been subjected to fire (possibly on a funeral pyre), and broken intentionally. As such it is possible that the fragment constitute part of a late iron age (or early medieval period) grave loot possibly ment to be re-used.

Of course the fragment could also be part of an "in situ" Viking Age burial but at the moment we have no proof of this. The find has been reported to Porvoo Museum and is kept in appropriate conditions.

Congrats Hannu!


Jan Fast

Friday 1 April 2016

Last chance to participate in the cleaning of neolitic excavation finds at Heureka

All of You who have participated in the Heureka excavations from 1990-1995 or 2014-215 are invited. The event is free of charge and will take place tomorrow Saturday 2.4.2016 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Heureka the Finnish Science Centre

Jokiniemi, neolithic dwelling site.