Sunday 19 July 2020

Check out the latest news fom the Hanko front!

Daily updates with pictures of finds from the scientific WW2 Battlefield Archaeology excavations in Hanko here!

Tuesday 14 July 2020

WW2 Battlefield Archaeology in Hanko 13 - 24.7.2020. Daily updates!

This years scientific battlefield archaeology research of the lesser known 1941 Hanko front (S. Finland) will concentrate on the first early months of  "Operation Barbarossa" where Finnish troops and soldiers from twelve (!) different nationalities fought against Soviet forces on the Hanko peninsula, in the southernmost part of Finland.


So far we have only been starting out but tomorrow we will finally dig in to the very rare time capsules of this battle that include burnt down frontline shelters and tunnels dug by Finnish troops under the main roads in the area.
... and now.

Finds are of course plentiful but this season we are mostly trying to find those real hotspots where individual soldiers war experiences can be verified by archaeological finds.

Tomorrow we will start excavating one such site, a small 2x2 m. burnt down shelter from the autumn in 1941. As it now seems a complete array of finds left behind by the four soldiers who left the shelter in September 1941 expecting to return in a couple of hours are still buried (79 years later) underneath the charred remains.

A WW2 conflict archaeology closed find in Hanko S. Finland.

Saturday 11 July 2020


Rain is a real nuisance during archaeological fieldwork. Because of the very fine soil (mostly composed of sand and silt) at the Jokiniemi site and the continuous rain we were forced to cancel  todays excavation.

A rainy day.

But no worries we will still be able to spread the word about this amazing site. Instead of helping out at the dig archaeologist MA Teemu Väisänen speaks about excavation finds at Science Centre Heureka today. During the presentation visitors will be able to ask questions about the finds and archaeology in general.

Teemu Väisänen giving his presentation @ Heureka 11.7.2020.

Tomorrow we will finish this years excavation, carefully fill in the excavation areas and restore the general research area to its "pre excavation" state. 

After this me and Teemu will travel to Hanko for two intense weeks of WW2 Battlefield Archaeology of the Hanko Front (1941). More about that excavation here in the weeks to come.

Thursday 9 July 2020

Back to Jokiniemi - The excavations of the find site of the astounding neolithic clay figurine "Tuima" July 8th-12th 2020

Helsinki Summer University and Heureka joined forces this summer to try to find out the age of the realistic anthropomorphic clay figurine (photo below) that was found by a local on the neolithic dwelling site in Vantaa Jokiniemi in the late 1980´s.

An article about the anthropomorphic clay figurines from Jokiniemi was published by me in TIEDE magazine in March 2015. 

The mission to find out more about the amazing figure is very exiting. For the first time it is now possible to conduct scientific archaeological excavations of the actual find site. The age and the find context has intigued me for years and years.

Digging the neolithic. Photo Jan Fast 9.7.2020.

Since last Wednesday a team of some 40 amateur archaeologists have carried out archaeological excavations of the find site under the supervision of three experienced professional archaeologists. The finds have been plentiful and date to the time period around 3700-3300 BC.

Potsherds representing the middle and late comb ceramic culture found in association with the figurine. Photo Jan Fast 9.7.2020.

During that time period the hunter gatherer populations around the shores of the Baltic Sea not only traded with amber and other commodities, but also cultural influences were transmitted as part of the socio-economic interactions in the region.

Older typical comb ceramic ware. The oldest pottery on the find site dating to around 3700 BC. Photo Jan Fast 9.7.2020.

It is therefore no wonder that the nearest similar figurines to those found i Vantaa S. Finland are found on neolithic dwelling sites in present day Latvia. The sea connected the people living along its shorelines.

The excavations in Jokiniemi continue until Sunday. For daily updates please visit our Facebook page