Results from Keitele – fishing throughout millenniums

In 2018, I was working in the trial excavation team of the Finnish Heritage Agency, and my first site with the crew was Maaherranniemi in Keitele – a site that I even titled Mesolithic Paradise earlier in my blog. While I have good memories of digging through the soft soil typical to such Stone Age dwelling sites, I also remember the atypical heat wave and pestering horse flies that accompanied us to the trenches. Now, year and a half later, the report of the site is finally finished and available online, so I wanted to share a brief look into what we accomplished.

Maaherranniemi is a good example of sites that trial excavation teams typically works at, as the land owners were planning a new summer house and the previously discovered Stone Age dwelling site had to be properly excavated before the construction could begin. Before our excavation, the team had already conducted a trial excavation at the site, revealing enough underground layers to organize a longer excavation with more w…

Feldluftpark Pori – The Project Advances

As some of my readers might remember, last year I launched a new conflict archaeology project for the research of the WWII Luftwaffe airport and aviation equipment depot in Pori. The project, now called Feldluftpark Pori, has advanced nicely over the winter months and in the following post, I want to share a few of these advances with you.

At the initial phase, I spent a great deal of time with maps archived to the Finnish Air Force Museum in Jyväskylä. Using a GIS program, I created a projection of around 300 constructions built by Germans and Finns during the war, including aircraft shelters, hangars, barracks and even an aircraft gun harmonization range. This projection did not only give an idea of the Luftwaffe depot as whole, but it could also be used for example to observe annual changes to the depot or to showcase only certain types of buildings, such as barracks, to observe them separately from other construction.
Using coordinates extracted from this projection, I spent a fe…

Cemetery Circle in Action

It's a new year and a lot of new projects are starting to get rolling soon. While I might not be able to work on the field for the time being, it's a good time to continue planning and preparing. During the following months, I will share a little insight into the projects that I'm currently working on and the advances that we're making over the winter. However, I want to start with something very current – that being an online journal called Kalmistopiiri.
Kalmistopiiri ("cemetery circle") is an online publication, which could be best described as a portal of news and articles related to archaeology. It got started as a study circle of archaeology students in the universities of Helsinki, Turku and Oulu in 2000 and originally concerned solely on the topic of burials. However, the portal changed shape over the years and since then, it has become a prominent online publication with multiple weekly articles over a large variety of topics.
At the end of last year…

Fleeting Remains of the Comb Ceramic Ruskiasuo

While it's winter now and the ground is frozen for a few more months, it's again a good time to look back on past excavations. While I've written about many of my devours past summer, there's a particular one that I still want to share with you. It also serves as a good example of the endangered past that slowly erodes and escapes our grasp.
In June, I took a little detour from my work in Satakunta to join archaeologists Jan Fast and Janne Soisalo in Kouvola. There they had planned the first public archaeology project in the history of the city and had 15 participants ready to sink their hands into the soft sand of Ruskiasuo dwelling site. While the site had never been excavated, it was already known to archaeologists since its discovery in 1980s. Based on the finds made at that time by a local archaeology enthusiast, the site was dated to the time of Early Comb Ceramic culture ca. 5200–4450 BC.
As the site had been discovered by the edge of an old gravel pit, it was …

Completing the Field Survey of the Pori Airport

Before it was time to leave the field work for a long winter break, I had still time for one more gig back in the province of Satakunta. As stated before, we have started a new research project in cooperation with the Satakunta Museum regarding wartime history of the province. As the project is going to be running for a long time, we're now in process of intensive background work in order to focus our resources properly. And as a part of this groundwork, it was time for me to finish the survey around the Pori Airport.
I was already familiar with the site from before, as I had already started the field survey before and photographed a plenty of WWII aircraft shelters among others. However, this time I was able to bring in some extra help, as I had received a grant by Suomen Muinaistutkimuksen tuki ry for a field survey conducted by archaeology students.
With the assistance of students from the University of Turku, Sampsa Perälä and Samuel Reinikainen, we spent one weekend wanderin…

Looking Back on Eight Weeks in Savukoski

After excavating one of the earliest Stone Age dwelling sites in Finland for eight weeks, it was finally time to pack up and take the research into laboratories. However, it was also a great time to sum up, what had happened over these past weeks and what we had managed to discover so far. With this idea in mind, I held a public lecture about our research at the municipal hall of Savukoski and now I'll share some of the same insights here.

As mentioned earlier, our excavations were conducted at multiple sites in Sokli area around lake Loitsana in the northeastern part of the municipality Savukoski. The area is fascinating in the sense that there lies major waterways connecting the region to the Russian side and thus it's has always been ideal for the movement of population over various periods. It had also never seen any previous archaeological research besides field surveys.

What we knew before about the site was largely based on the geological history, as there had been qui…

Discovering Local Heritage

While our excavations at Savukoski are proceeding at their own pace and our apartment is getting filled with finds, these weekends between the workdays have also been fairly fruitful. As I'm always eager to discover new things and explore my surroundings, I haven't been able to stay still, and instead I've spent my free days roaming in the nature documenting archaeological and historical sites.
My interest in documenting local heritage sites awoke already on the very first day, when I took a walk around our neighborhood in Savukoski and noticed that there were a plenty of WWII fortifications that we're not yet added into the online database of Finnish heritage sites. While walking among the collapsed dugouts and trenches, I took out my camera and started to document everything I saw from collapsed dugouts to trenches filled with trash.
As I continued my expeditions deeper into the surrounding forests, I soon realized how much there was still waiting to be documented i…