Friday 29 July 2022

The first week of excavations is over but the adventure continues on Monday

Today was the fifth day of the excavation in Geta and what a day it was. Sunny and summery weather and the largest ever found concentrations of potsherds from this site! Seems like next week we will dig into the richest find layers.

One word. Wow!!

We also found several very interesting and elaborately decorated  Pitted Ware Culyure potsherds. By the looks of them it seems very probable that the site has been occupied for much longer than we previously though.

A few of the many Pitted Ware Culture potsherds found today.

Although the site is very rich in finds from almost all find categories the most common finds are pofyrite flakes. The flakes cover the entire 58 square meter excavation area and amount to a total of some 800 (!) kilograms. In order to sort out ordinary stones from the stone-age finds I started looking through the 58 find bags from layer 1 today. A daunting task but one that needs to be done.

Unsorted porfyrite flakes and -tools from excavation layer 1.

Now it´s time  for a two day rest before we continue the excavation on Monday. Have a nice weekend everyone!

Archaeological excavation in progress. Photos Tryggve Gestrin.

Thursday 28 July 2022

Excavating a neolithic Pitted Ware Culture dwelling site in Geta. Day 4 /10

This day started off with a  radio interview for Ålands Radio. Please take a moment to listen to some basic facts about the site and the excavation by clicking on the link below. The interview is in Swedish.

The excavation itself is progressing according to plan although we still have some catching up to do because of the rainy weather last Tuesday. With the help of our multitalented excavation team we managed to finish excavation layer two today which means we are quite now close to the level of the trial excavation trenches where we paused the dig in 2021. After reaching level 3 we will finally uncover the entire excavation area.

Level 2 of the excavation area with the trial trenches from 2021 still left covered with a layer of sand.

The beautiful finds continue to amaze us. Today two we uncovered some very beautiful neolithic potsherds a few of which might belong to the youngest phase of the Pitted Ware Culture (3200 BC to 2300 BC) or even later.

Potsherds with grooved decoration on the surface from todays excavation of the Ge 16.9 site.

Most of the potsherds found today were of the more common Pitted Ware Culture type with a few very large rimsherds awaiting excavation tomorrow! Can´t wait <3

Possible large Corded Ware Culture rimsherd photograohed "In Situ". Photo Love Pahlman.

The central area of Pitted Ware Culture is shown on the map below. For some reason find sites like Rävåsen (Kristinestad) in W. Finland have been left out on this map. Click on the link below to read the 1997 excavation report (in Finnish).

The central area of Pitted Ware Culture.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Excavating a neolithic Pitted Ware Culture dwelling site in Geta. Day 3/10

Yesterday was a very rainy day here in Åland and we where forced to take a break in the excavations for the whole day. This morning the weather cleared and we worked for a full 8 hours and documented hundreds and hundreds of find spots (mainly for pottery, porfyrite flakes, stone tools and burnt bone) with our trustworthy Tachymeter. 

Janne Soisalo spent almost the entire day behind the Tachymeter.

All of todays finds are attributable to the Pitted Ware Culture and approximately  4 500 years old. The large and well preserved potsherds are plentiful and extremely beautiful. In comparison the stone tools are quite crude and almost "paleolithic" in appearance. Hundreds of kilograms of porfyrite flakes litter the entire excavation area .

Pitted Ware Culture rimsherd (left) and the bottom part of another vessel.

Crude and well worn porfyrite tools.

Today we also had many visitors including archaeologists Jan Storå, Niklas Stenbäck, Jenni Lucenius and Mikko Helminen from Åland and Andreas Forsgren from Sweden. It was very nice talking to you all.

Two happy archaeologists, Andreas Forsgren (left) and Jan Fast.

We are still only in the beginning of the dig with most of the finds still in the soil. Tomorrow we will finish excavating layer 1. and start excavating layer 2. This means that by next Friday we should have reached layer 3 where the excavation paused last year. Lots and lots of finds still lay hidden in the sandy soil.

The excavation area this  afternoon. Photo Tryggve Gestrin.

Monday 25 July 2022

Finally back excavating the stone-age of the Åland Islands

After a couple of weeks of summer vacation the awsome 2022 field season continues. Today we started the ten day long excavation of the Pitted Ware culture dwelling site in Get on the Åland Islands. After a very promising trial excavation last summer it´s now time for the first larger scale excavation of this remarkable neolithic dwelling site.

Archaeology students Erik anf Fanny documenting the first excavation layer.

The finds started mounting up immediately when we removed the 5 cm layer thick topsoil. Large potsherds and thousands of porfyrite flakes litter the entire excavation area. We are taking great care in the documentation and excavation of the site.

Pitted Ware Culture rimsherds.

Some 23 persons will attend the first five day long leg of the excvation with an additional 25 people participating next week. All hands are needed to complete the excavation by August 5th 2022.

The first excavation layer is beeing excavated.

Rainy weather will disrupt the excavation tomorrow but please check in again on wednesday to hear the latest news and see our latest finds.

The excavation area before excavation and in level 1. after the removal of the topsoil.

Sunday 3 July 2022

Day 6-7/8. Excavating the Kläppkärr (Early Comb Ceramic and Corded Ware Culture) stone-age dwelling site in Espoo S. Finland

The 2022 Kläppkärr excavation is nearing its close despite some really nice finds in the last square meters of the excavation area. 

Last finds of Early Comb Ceramic pottsherds. Photo Tuomas Teivonen and Jan Fast (bottom right).

Despite beeing quite rich in finds the find layer was only some 10-30 cm:s thick. Just under 1 000 find spots with one or more stone-age finds were recorded with tachymeter during the excavation.

Layer 3 of excavation area 2 (with excavation area 1 already filled up). Photo Jemina Rajamäki.

Needless to say that the excavation continued until almost the last minute today before we filled up the pit and restored the area to the condition it was before the start of the dig 7 days ago. Tomorrow we will be excavating some trial pits before taking a look at a few interesting prehistoric dwelling sites in the surrounding area. 

The filled up excavation areas 1 and 2 eagerly awaiting some rain.

After this me and archaeologist Janne Soisalo will be taking a short summer holiday before continuing excavations on the Åland Islands 25.7-5.8.2022 and after that at least seven more sites this season.

Friday 1 July 2022

Day 5/8. Excavating the Kläppkärr (Early Comb Ceramic and Corded Ware Culture) stone-age dwelling site in Espoo S. Finland

Today was a very busy day indeed with fantastic finds of Early Comb Ceramic pottery and a visit by the media. Radio reporter Anna Louhisto together with the very experienced Mathias Gustafson pulled of a very nice live interview for the morning show @ Radio Vega huvudstadsregionen.

Focused participants during the community archaeology field school earlier today.

Several concentrations of potsherds were excavated during the day one of which contained large fragments of the rounded bottom part of a large Comb Ceramic vessel. Fragments of the botto part of Early Comb Ceramic Vessels of style Ka I:2 are extremely rare so we were of course very exited about the find.

Large concentrations of Early Comb Ceramic potsherds. Photos Jan Fast and Mathias Gustafson.

Tomorrow we will start excavating layer three of excavation area two. More pottery is anticpated and  hopefully also some nice surprises :). The weather report promises sun and temperatures around 31 degrees Celsius so we can´t complain <3 

Birches and Lupines (Lupinus polyphyllus) grow on the stone-age seashore 6 000 years after it was inhabited.