Friday 30 August 2019

Kittiskoski. Thousands of years of habitation of the same site

Yesterday we ended the very interesting Lohja Kittiskoski E excvation. The site was discovered in 1970 but only minor excavations (in 1990 and 2005) had been conducted prior to our research. The sie is situated near a stream in a beautiful, almost untouched environment.

Kittiskoski. The dwelling site is situated on the right bank of the stream. Photo Jukka Lönnqvist.

The excavation produced finds from almost every stone age period in S. Finland (Mesolithic, early-, typical and late comb ceramic culture, Jäkärlä culture, Kiukais culture, Corded Ware culture and Textile ceramics). This is possible because apart from the earliest times of settlement the site, situated inland by a rapid (Kittiskoski), was unaffected by land the upheaval process.

Neolithic flint arrowhead. Photo Jan Fast

Smoke quartz artefact. Photo Jan Fast

The first leg of the excavation was organized as a community archaeology digand financed by Hiiden Opisto while the second part was reserved for local schools.

Participants in the community archaeology dig in action. Photo Jan Fast

School days. Photo Jan Fast

The main part of the finds consisted of either potsherds, quartz or flint flakes and burnt bone. The find layer was approximately 3-40 cm:s in depth and very dark greyish brown in colour.

A small selection of different types of pottery found during the excavation. Photo Jan Fast

We hope to be able to continue the excavation in July next year!

Thursday 15 August 2019

Tracing the first humans of Finnish Lapland

By BA Teemu Väisänen (University of Helsinki)

"Last week I once again joined the payroll of the Finnish Heritage Agency, but this time the work was something entirely different. Instead of traveling around the country like last year, I'm stationed in the municipality of Savukoski for two months. By opening twelve excavation trenches around the far eastern parts of the Finnish Lapland, we're hoping to get a glimpse into the life of the first humans who set their foot in Lapland more than 10,000 years ago.

Preparing an excavation area with a total station. Photo Teemu Väisänen.

Savukoski is one of the cradles of early human habitation in Finland and one would think that any archaeologist would be eager to be the one to research it. However, due to the relatively isolated location of the potential sites and lack of funding for archaeological research, the sites have seen very little research and all finds from the area are from field surveys. Thus, our excavation has a plenty of potential to shed light into the distant past of the whole Northern Finland.

Twelve sites that we're planning to excavate include dwelling sites and trapping pits from various periods of Stone Age. The oldest site of the bunch is called "Malmio 1", which has been dated to 8,070 BC, making it the second oldest known archaeological site in the whole Lapland. While all of the sites are interesting in one way or another, it was obvious from the start that Malmio 1 was the one that everyone was the most curious about.

Digging the fireplace. Photo Teemu Väisänen.

As I'm participating the excavation as an Assistant Researcher, my role is to document rather than to excavate. Thus, I spent my first week mostly with a total station. Together with my colleague, we prepared site after another for excavations. This included setting known points for coordinate measurement, measuring changes in elevation of the excavation areas and drawing maps of surroundings. After we were done with the preparations, we were soon busy with measuring the exact coordinates and depth of each find.

While it often takes a while before an excavation hits into the cultural layers, the trenches we opened showed a plenty of potential from early on. Along with multiple quartz flakes, the finds from the first week included pottery, animal bones and even a part of a flint arrowhead. One of the placements of test trenches hit a jackpot from early on as it included even a whole fireplace.

The only disappointment of the week was the fact that the Malmio 1 site had been partially destroyed by earlier land use and a lot of ground had been piled on top of the cultural layers. However, not all hope was lost and my goal for the following week is to see what truly lies beneath the destroyed layers. More on that next week!"

Follow Teemus "Made by History" blog here:

Thursday 8 August 2019

"Project STURMBOCK" new previously unseen drone shots

Aleksi is a great guy. He always keeps his promises and he always delivers. Despite being in rather harsh "in field" conditions he managed to send me these amazing drone shots of the teams work today. All pictures copyright by Mr Aleksi Rikkinen.

Aleksi Rikkinen and Emil Sillanpää mapping a forgotten front. Photo Aleksi Rikkinen. 

I will ask Aleksi and Emil for a short presentation about this years adventures when they get back from the wilderness. For now I will let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!

Vuores ja Kadonneen Aarteen Metsästäjät 2019-2020

Tampereen ja Lempäälän rajamaille rakentuva Vuoreksen uusi asuinalue elää suurta muutosvaihetta. Alueen juuret löytyvät 1800-luvulla paikalla sijainneen entisen kylän säilyneissä rakenteissa, mutta myös katseilta piilossa, aarteina maan alla.

"Vuores ennen ja nyt". Kuva Juha Suonpää.

"Vuores ja Kadonneen Aarteen Metsästäjät" hankkeessa etsitään entisten kyläläisten hylkäämiä, hukkaamia ja piilottamia esineitä koululaisille ja maallikoille suunnattujen, pedagogisesti orientoituneiden, yhteisöarkeologisten kaivausten avulla.

Anniston 39-vuotias torppari August seisoo kuistin vasemmalla puolella vuonna 1899. Pylvään taa piiloutuu rippikirjan mukaan "mielenviassa" ollut puoliso Josefiina sylissään Lyydia-tytär. Kuva Verner Palander (julkaistu Amulehdessä 17.2.2018).

Hankkeessa nostetaan esiin juurten tuntemisen merkitys nuorten ja lasten identiteetin kasvunperustana. Ymmärtäessämme lähialueemme menneisyyttä voimme hahmottaa myös tulevaisuuttamme ja pitää siitä huolta.

Kuvat vuosilta 2000 ja 2017 näyttävät, miten Anniston tilan naapurusto on muuttunut. Ruskontien toiselle puolelle on noussut Vuoreskeskus. Kuva Juha Suonpää.

"Vuores ja Kadonneen Aarteen Metsästäjät" on yhteisöarkeologinen hanke, jossa etsitään ihmisten jälkiä maan kerrostumista ja katsotaan tulevaisuuteen. Menneisyyden hylätyt esineet ja esineiden patinoituneet ja vääntyneet fragmentit kertovat entisestä elämästä ja havainnollistavat nykyistä kulutustamme, elämäämme ja yhteiskuntaamme. Projekti tarkastelee ja tuottaa lähikulttuuria tarinallistamalla muistoja ja osallistamalla lapsia, nuoria ja heidän vanhempiaan yhteisölliseen tutkimustyöhön.

Annisto ja Vuores kartalla. Kuva Jan Fast

Kyseessä on Suomen oloissa uraauurtava pedagoginen ja taiteellinen hanke jossa yhdistetään oikean arkeologisen tutkimuksen jännitys ja ainutlaatuisuus konkreettisella ja käsinkosketeltavalla tavalla taiteeseen ja ”learning by doing” - tyyppiseen kouluopetukseen. Hankkeesta avataan lähiaikoina FB sivu ja blogi.

Tuesday 6 August 2019

More pictures from "Project Sturmbock" - Images from a forgotten front.

The guys are currently on the last leg of their work in 2019. Aleksi Rikkinen messaged me yesterday before diving into his sleeping bag that he had some pictures he wanted to share. So here they are, straight from the mosquito infested far north of Finnish Lappland. All wonderful photos copyright by  by Emil Sillanpää.

Monday 5 August 2019

Meanwhile in the far north, documenting the German WW2 "Sturmbock Stellung"

A while back my conflict archaeology colleague Mr Aleksi Rikkinen and his very good friend Mr Emil Sillanpää started the "Sturmbock Project".

Mr Aleksi Rikkinen catching a drone next to a german dugout on top of Ruossakero fell. Double raindow in the background. Photo by Emil Sillanpää

The two highly talented young students decided to map the complete extent of the last WW2 German "Nordfront" defence structure, situated within the northernmost borders of Finland, and used by retreating German forces in late 1944.

The reserach area in 2018!

Please take the time and have a look at their painstaking and tremendous work in this video! 

You can also follow them on Instagram!

More fresh pictures as promised by Mr Aleksi Rikkinen very soon!