Sunday 30 June 2019

Durchgangslager Hanko - 1 day. The excavation starts tomorrow!

So excited. The excavation starts tomorrow morning and our team is all set to go. Beneath is a picture from last April when we marked the German WW2 dumpsites in one area of interest for us during the next three weeks.

Marking one of the 2019 excavation areas of "Durchgangslager Hanko".

Saturday 29 June 2019

The Durchgangslager Hanko 1942-1944 excavation up next

From 1-19.7.2019 we will once more excavate the materiality of the second world war German transition camp in Hanko S. Finland.

X-Ray analysis of a tag with a name and a Feldpostnumber found during excavations in 2018. The number clearly is 44443 which corresponds to that of 3. Kompanie Pionier-Bataillon SS-Division Nord.

This years excavation will probably the last scientific excavation in the area before the results of the painstaking work 2014-2019 will be presented in my doctoral dissertation "Durchgangslager Hanko 1942-1944 - The Archaeology and History of a Second World War German Transition Camp n Hanko, S. Finland".
Finds over ground. A large stash of original German documents was found inside the ventilation shaft of a building in Hanko harbour in May 2019!

Check in for daily updates of our work here starting July 1st!

Friday 28 June 2019

Espoo Kläppkärr day 5/6. Beautiful corded ware culture potsherds!

Another besutiful summers day at the excavation in Espoo. We continued excavating trial excavation area two and made the first of several test pits in order to determine the full extent of this extraordinary corded ware culture and early comb ceramic dwelling site. Some wonderful finds again today :)

Nice ornate rimsherd from a corded ware culture pot.

Thanks to the wonderful sunny weather, the dig advanced very fast and we reached the bottom of trial excavation area one in the afternoon.

Today we started digging test pits at a distance from the trial excavation areas. Test pit one was dug some 20 m. to the north and produced finds of corded ware pottery as well as large quartz flakes!

Excavating test pit one.

Tomorrow is the last day of this years excavation but we will definitely continue next year!

Thursday 27 June 2019

Starting work on trial excavation area two :) lots of finds!!

The forecast said that there would be rain today and we were already set on visiting the local museum instead of excavating. But it didn´t rain and instead of going to the museum we were able to dig the whole day long!

The excavation area photographed from the east. Photo Marjo Karppanen.

Trial excavation area two proved extremely rich in finds already from the start. The potsherds were larger and there were many more of them compared to trial excavation area one.

Early comb ceramic rimsherds.

Corded ware culture potsherds.

Among the finds there was a cylindrical sticklike object of burnt clay. According to Russian archaeologist Ekaterina Kashina items like these are sometimes found in clay figurine assemblages. An interesting small item!

Mystery item :)

Today we also got the green light for continued excavations of this beautiful site in June 2020! We are of course very happy for the support from Esbo Arbetarinstitut! Thanks to the trail excavation this year we now know excactly were to dig in 2020!

Tomorrow we will probably be very very busy with excavating find layers two and three :) can´t wait!

Wednesday 26 June 2019

More corded ware culture and early comb ceramic potsherds

Today we dug the last layer of trail excavation area one. Nice finds today too but no real trasures except for the simple partly destroyed hearth in the southern part of the trial excavation area.

We were a bit surpsised to reach the bottom layer of the excavation area this fast. Seems like we are at the eastenmost edge of the comb ceramic settlement in this area. This observation correlates with the observations made during the excavation in 1999.

Level 2. of trial excavation area one. To  the left is part of the excavation area from 1999.

The finds were of the more standard type today and consisted mostly of potsherds, quartz flakes, burnt bone and a couple of fragments of polished stone tools.

Corded ware culture pottery, a rimsherd with fain cord imprints.

Early comb ceramic potsherds.

Tomorrow, the weather permitting,  we will start work on trial excavation area two. The finds from that area will be of importance to the planning of the larger scale excavations of the site in 2020.

Tuesday 25 June 2019

A large fragment of a Corded Ware Culture stone-axe and a lot more!

Day two of the Kläppkärr excavation. We finally got to excavate the find layer after battling with the topsoil for almost a complete day :)

The finds began to accumulate quite rapidly. First lots of quartz flakes corded ware and comb ceramic pottery, burnt and even one piece of unburnt bone!

About one hundred different finds today from the first cm:s of excavation layer one!

The work progresses quite fast now that we have left almost all roots and the very dense and hard topsoil behind.

Almost in the center of the small trial excavation area there seems to be a hearth and very close to it we found fragments of a (apparently deliberately broken) Corded Ware Culture stone-axe.

Part of the carefully polished and then broken corded ware culture stone-axe.

To be continued... :)

Monday 24 June 2019

Excavating the corded ware culture in Espoo S. Finland

Today was the long awaited first day of this very interesting excavation close to the famous Sperrings site in Espoo S. Finland.  The place is called Kläppkärr and previous excavations in 1998 and 1999 have yelded many finds from the early comb ceramic period (Ka I:2 ca 4300−4100 BC) as well as the Corded Ware culture ca 2800–2500 BC). The excavation is financed by "Esbo Arbetarinstitut"

The etensive dwelling site area of Sperrings from the south. During the earliest occupation the sea level was approximately were the fields are now. During the corded ware culture there was a lake where the sea once was.

The dig started with the removal of the topsoil. This work was quite hard due to the many large spruce trees in the vicinity of trial excavation area one.

The first finds were encountered immediately when sand was encountered in the southernmost area of the trial excavation area. Small fragments of pottery of both early comb ceramic and corded ware culture along with quartz flakes and burnt bone littered the top of the first excavation layer.

This day was very warm indeed so we were happy to work in the shadows of the dence forest covering this well preserved part of the stone-age dwelling site :)

I will be back with an update again tomorrow when we reach the proper find layer. Thumbs up that we will find some interesting potsherds to date and analyze.

Monday 17 June 2019

Soon! The archaeology of the Finnish Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS

In a couple of weeks time we will excavate the materiality of the Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS in "Durchgangslager Hanko" in the summer of 1942 and 1943.

Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS grouping. 

There are still a few spots left at the excavation. If you are interested in participating please contact 

jfarchaeology @

Daily updates from the dig here, starting Monday July 1st 2019!

"The stone-age between the apartment houses".

This years five day community archaeology excavation in Helsinki Pitäjänmäki has come to an end. What a beautiful and extraordinary week excavating the stone-age of my hometown Helsinki <3 !!

Ms. L. Boccagna from the university of Salerno (dpt of archaeology) participatred in the dig!

This year finds were better preserved than in 2018. Especially the very nice, large ornate late comb ceramic potsherds attracted the attention of the participants.

A few of the ca 5000 year old potsherds from the excavation!

This years excavation area was situated very close to the ancient waterline (seashore) of the last occupation of the site. Despite this we found a few interesting small amber and quartz crystal items.

 A neolithic amber bead.

One of a couple of quartz crystals found this year.

Over 3000 finds in all were found during this short rescue excavation. We are most certainly continuing the work on the site next year. If you wish to participate please send a letter of interest to and we will get back to you. We especially welcome archaeology students from different parts of the EU, there is no entrance fee!

The dig will continue in 2020, pre register now!

Saturday 15 June 2019

Involving the very young

Neolithic archaeology is for all ages. After all, kids were there then, so why not let them enjoy digging the same sand as their ancestors <3

Excavating with very young children is a mindblowing experience. Try it out, never mind the scientific part <3 and you will learn a lot... instantly.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Helsinki 3500 BC! The Nuolipuisto excavation.

The Nuolipuisto excavation started today. This is the largest community archaeology excavation this season. The excavation if organized by Pitäjänmäki-seura ry and the community archaeology society ANGO ry.
Archaeology is for all ages.

Because of the large number of participants it was possible to open up a relatively large excavation area. This first day was therefore much about removing the topsoil that covers the stone-age finds.

The participants removing the topsoil of the excavation area.

Fragments of comb ceramic pottery along with flint and quartz flakes were found over the entire excavation area which is a promising sign for the upcoming excavation days.

Removing the last cm:s of the topsoil.

This years excavation is very interesting as we have participants from many different universities attending. Our guest from Italy Ms Boccagna (Universty of Salerno) found her first neolithic finds just about an hour into the dig.

Digging the stone-age (Salerno-Umeå-Helsinki).

After a few hours of work we completed the so called excavation level-0. And documented it before moving on to excavating layer 2.

The excavation area before excavation (left) and with the topsoil removed  (right).

To be continued tomorrow :)

Sunday 9 June 2019

Ruskiasuo 2019, the final day.

The end of another great stone-age excavation in 2019. Beautiful large potsherds from the early comb ceramic culture (Ka I:1 ca 5000 BC) until the very last minutes of the dig.

Large early comb ceramic rimsherd.

Today we carefully checked that we had dug all trial areas and test pits to the very end until no finds or  cultural layer remained. After this we documented the area thoroughly and at last filled in the excavation areas.

Excavating the last layer of trial excavation area one.

We found nice Ka I:1 pottery fragments until the very last minutes of the dig and of course also took pictures of the finds to show frriends and family :). 

Photographing the last finds for he home archive.

At the end of the day we visited a few interesting stone-age site sites in the vicinity. Me and archaeologist Janne Soisalo documented the newly found early comb ceramic stone-age site near Ruskiasuo.

Janne standing at the finds area of the newly found stone-age dwelling site.

And finally it was time to say goodbye to Ruskiasuo <3

The Ruskiasuo site photographed from the north.

We hope to be back in May next year with a longer excavation. Until then! Thank you very much to all you wonderful people who participated <3

Best Jan and Janne