Sunday 7 May 2023

Cold War Conflict Archaeology weekend researching a tank crew training ground

Immediately after the end of the Finnish/German-Soviet War of 1941-1944 the Soviet Union imposed, that the areas west of Helsinki, around Kirkkonummi, Porkkalanniemi, Upinniemi and the fortress island of Mäkiluoto, were to be emptied of all population and leased to the USSR for 50 years, for the purpose of establishing a Soviet naval base. Finland had no choice but to agree, despite the obvious threat to Helsinki. The base became known as Porkkala Udd in the USSR.

Between 2022 and 2026 the remains of the Cold War structures of the former Soviet Naval Base are excavated, documented and mapped by the "Porkkala 1944-1956" modern conflict archaeology project. This weekend the work was concentrated to a tank crew training area in Kirkkonummi.

          The picture of a tank carved into a piece of tyre rubber.

This weekend the research focused on a large over 300 square meter rectangular building foundation and nearby dumpsites. 

         Part of the well preserved concrete structure is revealed.

The finds were no less than fantastic giving an insight in the daily life of the Soviet soldiers who served here soon after the Second World War.



A few finds from the first two days of research.

The site is quite a complex one so it is certain that we will be reseraching it during several upcoming field seasons. Already in Septemeber we will return to the site for another five days of excavations. In 2023 local schools will also be invited to participate.

Saturday 6 May 2023

In search of the earliest habitation on Brunskär SW Finland

Brunskär is an island in the outermost and very scenic SW Finnish archipelago. The island was  permanently inhabited in the 16-17 th centuries (but possibly much earlier). The multidisciplinary research project "Brunskär Förr" (Brunskär in the Past) suveys, documents and excavates the materiality of the early inhabitants of the island. A very unique and exiting project indeed.

Stormy seas in the outer SW Finnish archipelago.

During the past two days we surveyed an mapped an area with several old well preserved house foundations on the island. The remains were first documented by historian John Gardberg in 1929 but the importance of his find became evident much later when the descendants of the early inhabitants of the island contacted me and asked if we would be interested in conducting archaeological research of the site.

Brunskär (to the left) on an early 19th Century map. 

During the work between May 4th-5th 2023 the remains of at least two well preserved houses were found and documented by us. The finds were not plentiful (which was no surprise) but our observations indicated hundreds of finds inside the old house foundations one of which will be excavated in August 2024.

A find and one of the old house foundations on Brunskär (the remains of the oven to the right).

After a day of hard work out in the cold it was time to enjoy some of the traditional hospitality of the landowners 💓😊 Thank you so much!

Evening barbeque.