Saturday 19 March 2022

"Porkkala 1944-1956" Field Course in the Archaeology of the Cold War

What could be more relevant in these worrying times in Finland than a Community Archaeology field course in the Archaeology of the Cold War in the larger Kirkkonummi region. Registration starts on June 1st 2022.

The Cape of Porkkala has been a central place throughout history. It is also a strategic place as The Gulf of Finland was crossed at the narrowest point here. As early as in the Middle Ages the Danish King Waldemar II Sejr mentioned a place named "Purkal" in his descriptions and in 1944 the naval base of the Soviet Union was named after this strategic place.

The strategic location of the Soviet military base in Porkkala 1944-1956. Photo Degerby Igor.

After September 1944 the Porkkala region was evacuated and became a closed off area to its former residents. After the civilians had been forced to leave a huge Soviet military base was built in the area. Shelters and command posts providing protection in case of nuclear war and two airports were constructed, one for fighters and another for the frontier guard planes. The small town of Kirkkonummi became the centre of the base.  Soviet civilians also moved to the quite selfsufficient region with their own collective farms, shop, school, cinema and hospital. In 1956 the area with its many massive cold war period constructions was returned to Finland.

By the border to the military base in 1956. Photo Porkkalan Parenteesi.

The Cold War Conflict Archaeology project will start with lectures, a tour to the research areas and small scale trial excavations 30.9-2.10.2022. From here the project continues with yearly excavations  and other associated research until 2026. 

Soviet fortified shelter in Porkkala. Photo

Registration starts on the 1st of June 2022 at Kirkkonummen Kansalaisopisto The maximum number of participants is only 20 so you need to act fast in order to secure your spot. No previous knowledge of archaeology is required. The multidisciplinary research is done in co-operation with Raseborgs Museum and Degerby Igor Museum.

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