Tuesday 29 September 2020

JFArchaeology community archaeology excavations in 2021 - Yhteisöarkeologisia kaivauksia kenttätyökaudella 2021

The planning of next years community archaeology excavations are well under way and we are happy to announce the dates for the 2021 digs. Keep on checking out this site for regular updates and information about when and how to register!

Please send a letter of interest to jfarchaeology@gmail.com if you want more information of the 2021 excavation season in English, German or Swedish. 

Stay safe and see you soon!

Jan Fast and Janne Soisalo

WW2 battlefield Archaeology - Toisen maailmansodan sota-arkeologiaa 

Järj. Hangö Sommaruni ja Hangon Rintamamuseo yhteistyössä sotavainajien muiston vaalimisyhdistys ry:n ja Venäjän suurlähetystön kanssa. Osassa tutkimuksia projektirahoitus.

 Hanko 1941 projekti  huhtikuu 2021         

Sotavainajaprojekti.  Tutkimusryhmä, ei ilmoittautumista!                                                                                            

Hanko 1941 projekti 5.5. - 9.5.2021 (la-to)

Kenraali Kabanovin korsun kaivaus. Ilmoittautuminen on alkanut.

Järj. Hangö Sommaruni



- Hanko 1941 projekti 10.5. - 13.5.2021 (ma-to)

Sotavainajaprojekti. Tutkimusryhmä, ei ilmoittautumista!

- Hanko 1941 projekti  19.7-23.7.2020 (ma-pe)

Hangon maarintama. Ilmoittautuminen on alkanut.

Järj. Hangö Sommaruni


-  Hanko 1941 projekti 26.7-30.7.2020 (ma-pe)

Hangon maarintama. Ilmoittautuminen on alkanut.

Järj. Hangö Sommaruni




Historical Archaeology - Historiallisen ajan arkeologiaa 

- Tampere Vuores 17-19.5.2021


Taideprojekti/Pedagoginen koululaiskaivaus yhteistyössä Vuoreksen koulun kanssa.


Archaeology of the Stone Age - Kivikauden arkeologiaa

- Leppävaara, Monikko 20. - 23.5.2021 (to-su)

Ilmoittautuminen ei vielä alkanut.

Järj. Leppävaara seura             


- Raasepori, Malmkulla 27. - 30.5.2021 (to-su)

Ilmoittautuminen ei vielä alkanut.

Järj. Karis Hembygdsförening ja Sällskapet Natura.


- Porvoo, Vävarsbacka 2. - 6.6.2021 (ke-su)

Ilmoittautuminen alkaa 7.1.2021!

Järj. Borgå Medborgarinstitut. 



- Kirkkonummi, Kolsarby 9.6. - 13.6.2021 (ke-su)

HUOM! Ilmoittautuminen käynnissä muutamia paikkoja vielä jäljellä!

Järj. Kyrkslätts Medborgarinstitut.



- Turku, Jäkärlä 16.6. - 20.6.2021 (to-su)

Kaivaus on loppuuvarattu mutta voit ilmoittautua varasijoille.

Järj. Åbo svenska arbetarinstitut.



- Espoo, Kläppkärr 28.6 - 3.7.2021 (ma-la)

Kaivaus on loppuuvarattu mutta voit ilmoittautua varasijoille.

Järj. Esbo Arbetarinstitut.



- Vantaa, Jokiniemi 7. - 11.7.2021 (ke-su)

Kaivaus on loppuuvarattu mutta voit ilmoittautua varasijoille.

Järj. Helsingin seudun kesäyliopisto. 




- Ahvenanmaa 26.7. - 30.7.2021 (ma-pe)


Järj. Medis                                                                             



- Kemiönsaari, Ölmosviken 9.8 – 17.8.2021

Ilmoittautuminen ei vielä alkanut.



- Kouvola Ruskiasuo 21.8.-29.8.2020

Ilmoittautuminen ei vielä alkanut.

Järj. Kouvolan kansalaisopisto ja projektirahoitus.

Kouvolan kansalaisopiston harrastajille suunnattu kaivaus 21.-22.8.2021 ja 28.-29.8.2021

Koululaiskaivaus 23.8.-27.8.2021    




- Lohja Kittiskoski E

Ilmoittautuminen ei vielä alkanut.

Järj. Hiiden opisto ja projektirahoitus.

Hiiden opiston harrastajille suunnattu kaivaus 4. - 5.9.2021 ja 11.9. - 12.9.2021 (la-su)

Koululaiskaivaus 6.9. – 10.9.2021


Friday 4 September 2020

A forgotten grave of a German "Kriegsmarine" soldier in the archipelago?

Today an article was published in the local newspaper about the repatriation/reburial of the seven KIA Soviet soldiers discovered near the defensive positions of the 3rd battery of 204th air-defence and artillery division in Hanko Tvärminne. The article produced an interesting phone call from a local elderly man.

"Minensucher-Kriegsabzeichen" found by a local on the Hanko front in the area were the German the German war ship "Brummer" was anchored.

According to him the bodies of seven German soldiers drifted ashore in the archipelago SE of Hanko in the summer of 1941 or 1942. Six of the soldiers were buried on a larger island close to the mainland and the seventh one on a small skerry further out to sea.

A low depression in the ground marks the place of a war grave on the Hanko Front.

The graves of the six soldiers were opened and the bodies moved from the temporary grave site in the summer of 1952 and transported to the nearby town of Ekenäs but the remains are said to have been buried in the churchyard in Pojo. According to the informant the seventh soldiers grave was for some reason left untouched and the soldiers mortal remains are still on the small skerry.

"Sterbebild" with picture of a "Kriegsmarine" soldier killed in the Gulf of Finland.

The story is one of several gathered and investigated in the course of the "Hanko 1941" project. Even though many of the stories can´t be verified as such,  careful archive, cartographic and photographic studies can often offer more information that in due time forms the basis for scientific conflict archaeology fieldwork.

In the rocky soil of the archipelago cairns sometime mark WW2 grave sites.

If you have any knowledge of war graves on the Hanko peninsula please contact us. Every soldier despite of Nationality deserves a name and a decent grave.


Thursday 3 September 2020

Reburial ceremony of 7 Soviet soldiers

Today we attended the reburial ceremony of 7 KIA Soviet soldiers that our team found and excavated between 2018 and 2019.  The ceremony was attended by approximately 50+ people and we were welcomed by the Russian ambassador H.E. Mr Pavel Kuznetsov and Deputy Military, Naval and Air Force Attaché Colonel Ivan Gorbachev. Several representatives  from the Embassy of the Russian Federation , the Embassy of Kazakhstan and Belorus attended the impressive and at the same time solemn procession.

The first speaches were held by Governor Pavel Kuznetsov and Mr Pertti Suominen (Sotavainajien muiston vaalimiyhdistys ry) after which I had the opportunity to voice a few words on the benefits of scientific repatriation of war dead and the growing general interest in conflict archaeology in Finland.

When the official ceremony had ended  Ms Zhanna Sartbayeva, the Governor of Kazakhstan initiated a personal and very pleasing discussion with me about the benefits of scientific repatriation of war dead. Ms Sartbayeva showed a very honest appreciation of our work which I of course appreciated very much.

In the afternoon our excavation team gathered at the Hanko Front Museum where I gave a lecture about upcoming battlefield archaeology work in the Hanko and Raseborg archipelago in 2021.

In 1940 and/or 1941 seven very young Soviet soldiers arrived in Hanko S. Finland only to die a year later in the defense of "Gangut" the Soviet naval base in Hanko. When their comerades were evacuated in the late months of 1941 their graves were left without attendance for 78 years. Today they were finally reunited with the other fallen Soviet soldiers of the Hanko front.

For these seven young men the war is finally over. Seven red roses adore their 78 year long (temporary) reconstructed resting place in 2020.

Wednesday 2 September 2020

War dead, battlegrounds and more...

02.09.2020 Wednesday (day three).Today we visited one of several scenes of the ferocious battles that raged in the Hanko archipelago in the summer and autumn of 1941. The main reason for our fieldtrip was to gain as much information about the island in question before the large scale battlefield archaeology fieldwork scheduled on the group of islands in 2021.

First off was the site of a grave marker with the text "39 Soviet seamen, died in 1941". The cross could mark a grave somewhere in the vicinity or it could be a cross raised in memory of the fallen. I will return to this mystery in upcoming blog posts.

Next we visited the areas of intense battle on the island all of which will be carefully documented and mapped next spring. This was both exciting and very tragic at the same time as traces of the battle could be observed everywhere despite the 79 years that had passed since the battle took place. It was quite shocking to think about the horrors that took place in this beautiful setting.

The third assignement was to try to locate the traces of an aircraft crash site from 1941. Areas of debris was documented and plotted on a map. We will see what can be done here in 2021 in co-operation with the Finnish Aviation Museum.

The Hanko 1941 team would like to thank the landowner for his co-operation in documenting the WW2 remains. A big thanks to the crew from the Finnish Television (MTV 3) for the professional interviews and filming of our hard work today.