Wednesday 31 August 2022

Possible Wild boar tusks and clay pipes. Excavating Korsholm Castle day 3/6.

Today was the rainiest day so far but despite the weather Gods not beeing on our side we managed to get quite a lot done on site. One of the nicest finds today was an almost complete tusk from a wild boar and many other bone fragments from a variety of different domestic animals and game.

A nice find, a tusk from a wild boar.

This day the schollchildren came from Vanhan Vaasan koulu, a school for finnish speaking kids and situated close to the excavation site. The children and their teacher enjoyed the day to the full despite the occasional rain showers. 

Students from Vanhan Vaasan koulu photographed  today.

More rain is expected tomorrow, but I´m convinced the excavation will continue as planned. More interesting finds are waiting to be discovered  as we near the final excavation layers of this years dig :)

Photographers from the media documenting todays work

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Excavating Korsholm Castle day 2/6. Fragments of 3-legged pots and much more.

Several fragments of 3-legged clay pots, including one handle were found during todays excavation. This type of pot was very common during the Late Middle Ages until the end of the 18th century. The pots were used for cooking food and the thre legs made it possible for the clay vessel to stand up straight in a hearth or on a stove.

A 3-legged clay pot and a fragment of a similar vessel found during todays excavations.

As during the day before the participating school children were again very focused and motivated during the entire day despite a gray and rainy morning. It´s always a joy to experience the  joy of discovering ancient artefacts on the childrens faces.

Talented diggers and a few of their finds, green glazed tableware and a fragment of an ornate clay pipe.

Most of todays finds can be dated to the 18th century but it seems much older finds are still deeper down in  the ground. Excavating these possibly Middle Age layers will however have to wait a while longer as the focus of this years excavation only is to assess the possiblities and methodology of future excavations of the site.

Students from Haga skola dig into the 18th century.

Tomorrow we will start documenting the remains and a few wooden structures in particular. We will aso start taking samples from the different layers which are easily visible in the excavation area profiles 


Monday 29 August 2022

Excavating Korsholm Castle in Vasa W. Finland. Day 1/6.

Korsholm Castle was probably built in the 1370´s and very little is known about how it was construvted and/or extended ofer the years. By the late 18th century the castle lay in ruins, and new buildings were built on the mound. Korsholm Castle is known to have functioned as one of the bases of the notorious Victual Brothers pirates who terrorized the Baltic Sea region in the Middle Ages. By the late 18th century the castle lay in ruins, and new buildings were built on the mound. During the upcoming five days we will conduct the first ever archaeological excavation of this historic site with schoolchildren from local schools.

School children from Haga skola look for finds using a pinpointer.

The first day of the excavation started early in the morning when the topsoil was skillfully removed using a digger to a depth of around one meter below ground surface, From here on the excavation continued manually. Many finds especially from the 19th and 18th centuries were found in the uppermost part of the find layer. The undisturbed soil underneath this seeems to hold artefacts from the 17 th century and maybe as far back as Medieval times.

A few of todays finds a mouth harp, a roof tile, lots of cattlle bones, glass fragments and fishbones including a part of the lower jaw of a big pike.

The excavation is financed by Suomen Kulttuurirahasto and arranged by Svenska Österbottens förbund för utbildning och kultur (SÖFUK).

Saturday 27 August 2022

Preparing for the Nordic Community Archaeology excavation NAU 2023

For the past  days we have been conducting trial excavations of the beautiful 4200 year old Late Neolithic dwelling site at Kimitoön Ölmosviken (SW Finland). Two archaeologists from Sweden participated and during our meeting we we agreed on several practicalities for the upcoming 3 week long community archaeology excavation. 

Neolithiv potsherd and large amounts of burnt seal and fishbones from one of the trial excavation pits.

The date for NAU 2023 is now set to July 17th until the 4th of August 2023 and children will be allowed to participate in the company of their parents. We also made some preliminary plans regarding additional program during the three weeks of excavation. More details about the excavation, how to register, transportation and accomodation will be advertised in about two months time! No previous experience of archaeology will be required in order to participate!

Art students from Helsingin kuvataidelukio and Kallion lukio participated and photographed their work for an upcoming photographic art exhibition in 2023 at Söderlångvik gård.

During the trial excavation we were able to narrow down the most promising area of the site to around 100 square meters. This is the area where we will be excavating in 2023. The number of participants for NAU 2023 from each Nordic country is limited so please watch out for more nformation about when to register here!

Saturday 20 August 2022

Sun and lovely potsherds. Day 4 of the Ruskiasuo excavation

Today we started exvating the bottom part of the find layer. More finds of large potsherds emerged along with a large amount of burnt bone and also a large burnt fragment of a tool made of antler .

A few of the many Early Comb Ceramic Culture potsherds found today

The outlines of two refuse pits could be also be observed today. The soil in the first one is very dark in colour and the finds consist of large amounts of small potsherds and burnt bone. The other refuse pit is filled with large potsherds from many different clay vessels and the colour of the soil is light brown. Careful cleaning of the excavation level is necessary before documentation.

One of the participants preparing the excavation area for documentation.

Tomorrow is the final day of the 2022 dig. Although some excavation work still remains to be done we will probably start filling up the excavation area around 1 PM. Luckily enough the excavation will continue in 2023. See you then 💓

The Ruskiasuo dwelling site is situated in the forest on the left side of the picture. The field is where the sea used to be (some 7000 years ago).

Friday 19 August 2022

Stone Age finds and desant graves. Combining Traditional Archaeology and WW2 Conflict Archaeology

Today was another beautiful summers day in Elimäki. We continued excavating the Early Comb Ceramic site and during the lunch break I also had the opportunity to inspect the probable grave site of two Soviet desants (members of the Soviet Airborne troops) who parachuted in the area in 1941 and where shot (or exceuted) by locals upon capture.

The finds from the excavation site continued to astonish us bpth in quality as well as quantity. Today we also found this years first stone artefacts made of the semi precious material smoky quartz.

Artefacts made of  smoky quartz.

The day also produced several very large Early Comb Ceramic Culture potsherds. The size of these vessels must have exeeded 20 litres. The total number of potsherd is now well over 400. One of the potsherd found today was from the bottom of a clay vessel.

Large Early Comb Ceramic Culture rimsherds and piece of the boottom of a large clay vessel.

During the Second World War 1941-1944 several groups of so called desants parachuted into the Elimäki area. Their purpose to perform acts of terror and sabotage behind the frontlines. Dropped far from their operative areas the became easy prey for the locals and the home- and air defence troops.

Weapons and ammunition captured from a killed Soviet desant. Photo SA-Kuva.

In 1941 four desants were spotted in the Elimäki region. Two surrendered and were held in a sauna in Elimäki while the two others were killed or executed. The bodies were buried near an old sandpit and their final resting place was known only by the locals who at times visited the site to put flowers on their graves. The graves were clearly visible as two regular depressions three years ago.

The desants were shot and buried in sandy soil in two shallow pits in the fores by the edge of a field.

Nowadays the location of the graves is known only by one man who was kind enough to show me to the site. Today I only mapped the site and took some photos. We will take a closer look at the site in the near future to check that his story is correct and map the area properly.

The area of the two graves photographed today.

The sauna where the two surviving desants where kept beforethey were handed over to the Finnish military still stands. No mention about what happened to them remains but it´s highly likely that they too where shot after questioning.

The sauna where the surviving desants were held before beeing handed over to the Finnish military

Thursday 18 August 2022

More beautiful Early Comb Ceramic Culture potsherds! Excavating the Ruskiasuo dwelling site. Day 2/5

The weather continues to be fantastic and so do the finds. Today we managed to fully excavate layer one and found an amazing amount of well preserved 7000 year old potsherds and many other finds.

Many of the potsherds form concentrations where all sherds are from the same vessel.

The temperature reached 29 degrees Celsius so water was in high demand. Still some complaints culd be heard when I had to order mandatory brakes in the excavation work :) Luckily the excavation area is situated in the shadow.

The excavation progresses according to plan and the participants are very busy. At times we stop the work so that people also have time to admire their finds and photograph them.

Today we were visited by the Finnish Broadcasting Company who interviewed and filmed me for a clip in the evening news as well as a web article. Just click on the link below to have a look!

Link to YLE TV news

Just a few of todays potsherds