Saturday 22 February 2020

WW2 conflict archaeology field school, register now!

The registration for the WW2 conflict archaeology field school in Hanko has started! This season we will concentrate on the events of the Hanko front in 1941. The field school is organized by Hangö Sommaruni in co-operation with Hanko Front Museum 13.07-17.07, 20.07-24.07 and 31.08-04.09.2020. The partcipation fee is only 20 euros for five days but you don´t need to attend every day. Please register right away by clicking on the link below.

We speak English, Finnish and Swedish during the excavation. This year we also offer daily lectures on different topics of WW2 conflict archaeology including mapping and surveying techniques, forensic archaeology and of course general lectures about the battles and conflict archaeology remains in Hanko. If you need advise on how to register please don´t hesitate to ask.

Thursday 13 February 2020

Soviet WW2 map case with full contents found in Hanko!

A while back, a small Soviet (1940-1941) map case containing pencils and seven tightly folded different maps was found. One of the maps immediately stood out. It is very large and covers the entire length of the Gulf of Finland. The borders of the Soviet Marine Base or "Gangut" is clearly marked.
Detail of the large map found in Hanko. Photo Jan Fast/Hanko 1941 project.

Yesterday on the 12th of February 2020 me together with MA archaeologist Teemu Väisänen and museum curator Kim Kidron we had a first look at the contents of the map case. The maps are very fragile and require immediate conservation before they can be studied further.

Detail of the large map found in Hanko. Photo Jan Fast/Hanko 1941 project.

The complete find will be published in English later this year as soon as conservation work is finished. The map case and its contents will be put on display at the big, one year long "Hanko 1941" exhibition in the spring of 2025!

Detail of the large map found in Hanko. Photo Jan Fast/Hanko 1941 project.

Read more about the find on the "Hanko 1941" web page by clicking on the link below!

Wednesday 12 February 2020

"Another one bites the dust"

Today we surveyed the Hanko harbour magazine to find more German WW2 documents hidden in the roof structures. Very exiting "and dusty" day :)

Despite our hard efforts it seems the treasure chest of the old ventilation shafts has now been exhausted. The result is some 800 documents relating to German Gebirgsjäger passing through Hanko, S. Finland in the spring of 1944. 

Some very interesting Soviet 1941-period "attic finds" have emerged in Hanko though. More on these tomorrow :)

"Happy in Hanko". Photo Elisa Melasniemi.

Friday 7 February 2020

Hanko 1941 news!

New stuff added to the "HANKO 1941" web page today. Why not check it out and become a member!

The Bengtskär lighthouse after the battle. Photo Bertel Nordenstreng "Hanko 1941" project.

Pre registration for the conflict archaeology field  school in Hanko July 13th - 17th,  July  20th to 24th and August 31st to September 4th 2020 is now possible!! Please contact jfarchaeology and secure a spot at the upcoming digs.

Thursday 6 February 2020

Way to go Teemu! The conflict archaeology of "Feldluftpark 3/XI" Pori, W. Finland

I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate my colleague MA Teemu Väisänen who today announced that he has received funding for his scientific conflict archaeology project 👍

JU 88 in Finland in 1942. Photo Jan Fast research collection.

"Great news from Svenska Kulturfonden i Björneborg – the foundation has decided to support our WWII research project in Pori. Along with another grant by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and an archaeological field course organized for local history enthusiasts, I have now the luxury of concentrating all my attention to the project for six months straight. And who knows what next year has in store for us! Teemu "

You can read about Teemus upcoming research in Pori and other WW2 conflict archaeology projects in Finland in the March issue of Iron Cross Magazine!

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Going nuts!

Accuiring good representative samples for radio carbon (or C14) dating of stone age dwelling sites is difficult. Many times the same sites have been used during several prehistoric periods and it´s rare to find sites that have been occupied only for a very short period of time. 

Malmkulla in Raseborg S. Finland is one such place. The finds show it has been occupied exclusively during the younger phase of the early comb ceramic period approximately 6000 years ago.

The finds from the excavations here are plentiful including, frgments of clay figurines, pottery and lithic artefacts. Until recently no finds of hearths and other features or items containing organic material or charcoal for C 14 samples to exactly date the finds  have been found.

This changed yesterday when archaeologist MA Janne Soisalo looked through the finds from the 2019 excavations. An attentive participant had collected small bits of coal and included with these were fragments of charred hazel nuts.

A sample of these will be sent for dating to Uppsala University in Sweden and we hope to know the exact date of the short term settlement of the site next autumn.