Thursday 14 January 2021

Community archaeology excavation of a stone-age dwelling site on Åland coming up in 2021

Ever since I was a young archaeology student in 1987 I have dreamed of excavating a stone-age dwelling site on the Åland islands. Now one is scheduled for July 26th throuh July 30th 2021!

Picture from the excavations of the stone-age dwelling site at Jettböle in 1911. The excavation revealed many well preserved human remains. Photo Björn Cederhvarf

The whole idea of conducting a community archaeology excavation on the islands started in the autumn of 2019 when me and my colleague Janne Soisalo visted Åland and met with local archaeologists Jenni Lucenius and Niklas Stenbäck for a couple of days. Janne is currently working on his PhD about the late neolithic "Kiukais culture" and in this aspect the finds from the Åland islands are very interesting indeed. During our visit both Jenni and Niklas were extremely friendly and showed us around the exiting stone-age dwelling sites especially in the areas around Jomala and Långbergsöda .

Three archaeologists visiting the Långbergsöda stone-age dwelling site area in the rain (left to right Niklas Stenbäck, Janne Soisalo and Jan Fast).

In the autumn of 2020 i contacted the local adult education centre MEDIS (to ask them if the would be interested in organizing a community archeology field course in archaeology on the islands in 2021. The answer was an overwhelming yes! After some very good communication with Jenni the date for the excavation was set to 26-30.7.2021 and the maximum number of participants per day to 20. Children under 14 years of age are allowed to participate but only if accompanied by an adult.

Late neolithic pitted Ware rimsherd from Åland. Photo Jan Fast.

Yesterday Jenni informed me that registration for the excavation had started and today I learned that the excavation already had 16 participants in all. What a success!! Now Jenni has started looking for a suitable place for us to excavate and we hope we will find one during the upcoming month. It is important that the excavation will be located in a scientifically interesting location worthy of publication. We also wish that the excavation can help protect the site in the future.

Archaeologist Jenni Lucenius is working on finding the best spot possible for the upcoming community archaeology excavation

Needless to say both me and Janne are very exited but also very humble to have been granted this unique opportunity to conduct archaeological excavations on the beautiful Åland islands. Let´s hope this will only be the beginning of community archaeology here. Please follow our research on FB by clicking on the link below.