Finishing up with Tulliniemi, week II

Excavations can sometimes have somewhat unexpected results and this week falls into that category. In my previous post, I wrote about a Soviet trench filled with later German waste and mentioned that we excavated all but the far end of it, as the layers of cans and bottles continued far deeper than elsewhere in the area. This week, it was my task to finish up with the site, while the new crew started with another site dozens of meters east. While I was planning on finishing with the work on the first day, I was soon surprised with a wooden construction that got revealed far beneath the topsoil.

I soon realized that instead of discovering discarded planks thrown into the dump, we had reached the original Soviet trench constructions. After systematically following the planks, I managed to slowly uncover one of the sides, eastern corner and a possible doorway in the west. It also became evident that the construction only included the bottom parts and the top layers of planks were probab…

Many Periods of Karvia

While Satakunta has many famous archaeological sites to offer, sometimes it's fun to diverge from the paved path and seek something entirely different. For me, one of the most memorable trips from this summer was a long drive through the northern parts of the province, where I was met by sites from various periods from the early Mesolithic to the Swedish era and even up to the World War II. As the distances in the north are as great as the gaps between the periods of various sites, I will only concentrate on Karvia, which alone has much to offer to any curious soul.

Pantti A great place to start your Karvia tour is from the very beginning of human habitation in the area. Pantti is a Stone Age dwelling site, which has not yet seen much research and the finds from the first survey include only quartz flakes and bone. However, based on its height from sea level, the site has been been dated to the early Mesolithic period, making it the oldest known site in the whole province.
While S…

Finishing up with Tulliniemi, week I

After finishing up with my "great tour" around Satakunta, it was again time to return to the WWII German transition camp in Cape Tulliniemi, Hanko. While the site was already familiar to me from a few field seasons in the past, this time the season was a bit more special, as it was the last excavations at Tulliniemi for the time being. After these three weeks, the work will be finally moved indoors for archaeologist Jan Fast to use in his dissertation. But there's still a little time to make more discoveries!

The focus of the first week was on a trash dump on the northern coast of Tulliniemi, where you can still see many remains of the battlements dug by Soviets in 1941. Some trenches were later used by Germans as trash dumps, and one of such sites was chosen for our excavation.

While we have excavated numerous trash dumps before, this one was interesting especially as an archaeological feature, as the outline of the trench could be clearly seen from the line of rust on…

Following the Legend of Saint Henry

When visiting Satakunta for a bit longer time, there’s one figure that can’t be avoided – Lalli. This character from stories and legends has given name for sports teams, buildings, natural sites and even a newspaper – his axe is even featured on the coat of arms of Köyliö. With a superstar of this caliber around, one should not miss his story and rather follow the events of the Legend of Saint Henry.

The tale of St. Henry and Lalli originates from a Catholic legend and a Finnish poem, which differ a bit from each other. But to summarize it briefly, St. Henry was an English clergyman, who served in the Kingdom of Sweden in the 12th century and was sent to Finland to organize church affairs. One day in the middle of the winter, he visited a certain manor while on his journeys alone. After leaving, Lalli, the owner of the manor arrived and was lied by his wife that the bishop had taken food, cake and beer without permission. Enraged Lalli then skid after the bishop and killed him on the…

50 Days of Satakunta

For the past month and a half, I've been working for Satakunta Museum, which is already familiar to me from the last summer. While last year my work included sorting out the archaeological collections and visiting new sites reported by locals, this time my work was solely on the field, as I was to document known heritage sites all around the province. After hundreds of kilometers on the road and many days in the bushes, I'm finally done with the field work and can share the results with everyone interested.

To offer a little background to my work, let's state that there's a new initiative by the National Heritage Agency to list the most prominent archaeological sites around the country. These sites could be considered as prime examples of their category (eg. cairns, dwelling sites or trapping pits). While this doesn't mean that the other archaeological sites would be of less value, it's these chosen ones that will be put on a pedestal. While it remains to be s…

Blast from the Past VI: Mapping an Underground Roman City

Before finishing the series of my past adventures on the field, I will share one more experience, which followed the other aforementioned excavations of the 2017 field season. Before limiting the rest of the autumn for shorter excavations, I still had time for one more field trip and I spent it no further than in Italy. It was my first time in the country and the first time to research classical civilizations. However, this time there were no trowels and shovels, as our main instrument was a ground-penetrating radar.
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is one of the main geophysical methods used in archaeology to discover buried structures. The device emits electromagnetic energy into the ground and tracks signals reflected from buried objects and boundaries between materials of different permittivities. While the data can be already monitored on the field, it can also be further processed afterwards and turned into very informative maps of what lays directly underground.
In Italy, I took…

Blast from the Past V: Late Neolithic Kimitoön

The opportunity for the last major excavation of the 2017 field season came, when I heard that Jan Fast was organizing an archaeological field school at a new Stone Age site in Kimitoön. As I was eager to excavate previously uncharted lands, I immediately decided to offer my help and before I noticed, I was on my way to the Archipelago Sea in the Southwest Finland.

The excavation lasted only for an extended weekend, but the results were at least as magnificent as in Estonia. The site was very rich in finds and revealed big pieces of pottery from Kiukainen culture - the last phase of Stone Age in the Southwest Finland. I had not excavated the period before and for some reason it immediately seemed very fascinating to me - so fascinating, that after the excavation I asked if I could clean the finds at the university in order to spend a bit more time observing the pottery!
In between of all the digging and sieving, I also had some spare time to make a few test pits in order to map the ex…