Thursday, 24 July 2014

A stone-age axe from the deep

What an amazing find from a lake in northern Savo, Finland. The wonderfully preserved stone-age axe was found by a diver who was diving at a depth of 12 m in a local lake. Judging by the looks of it, it might be from the late neolithic (copper-axe imitation)?.


This wonderful find was first reported by VaSuMet.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

JOKINIEMI 1994 - 2014

Twenty years ago I "closed the book" in Jokiniemi and now after 20 years it´s finally time to pick it up again and start a new chapter.



I feel so good. I´m very happy with my new team too. Director Mikko Myllykoski  from Heureka and his Science Center staff has done a great job along with Johanna and Riitta-Ilona from the University of Helsinki. The National Board of Antiquities and the city of Vantaa has been great to work with once again, all permits arrived early and this helped me a lot in the excavation planning process.



And then of course it´s time to thank the archaeology students especially Mr Olli E. who has shown great interest in the project from the beginning. I really hope You will find material for Your research in the multitude of stone-age items from the site. Ms Nelli-Johanna S.  will be in charge of the documentation and collecting and "bagging" the finds (... surely a busy week ahead), I wish You both good luck and a steady mind in your important work  :).



Finally I would like to thank ANGO r.y. the community archaeology  society which was founded in 1992 as a result of the previous excavations by Heureka on the site. Your long time experience of digging will now be transferred to new "diggers" and in a sense to a "new generation" of over 120 amateur archaeologists.



See You all soon!


Jan

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

My conflict archaeology project "Hanko 1941-1944" on Finnish national television (YLE) today

This eight minute clip concentrates on the documentation and trial excavations of the WW2 German transition camp. The program starts at 21.05 (Finnish time) but can also be seen internationally over the internet on YLE Areena through the link below:


Friday, 4 July 2014

The early bronze age in Galtarby VI, Kemiö, Västanfjärd SW Finland

Just returned home from the Galtarby VI dig. Here´s a short report about what we found and experienced during these intense couple of days.


We met up with the excavation team outside the local shop "Knallis" from were we were accompanied to the excavation site by the filming crew of the National Finnish TV News (YLE) who wanted to film the start of the dig from the very start and  until the first finds surfaced. No need to say I felt a bit worried about how to produce material for the news in just under one hour on a site were no previous excavations had taken place. Below is an international link to the news broadcast which was aired in the evening of the 3:rd of July.


The first quartz flakes surfaced in some 20 mins saved the TV teams day (and ours too) :) We apparently hit an area very close to were a bronze age dwelling stood some 4000 years ago. The cultural layer was mainly dark brown in color with some intense areas of soot and charcoal.



After the TV crew left the scene it was time for a short lunch break in wonderful weather and in the calm of the surrounding forest.



After the break the dig continued with the digging of trial pits. The pits helped us to narrow down the area of research to approximately 100 square meters inside of which the early bronze age "house" stood during the period of habitation. The finds consisted of some 100 quartz flakes and  acouple of -cores. We also found a fragment of  a large whetstone. One especially nice large 9 cm flake of dark red slate like stone possibly showing signs of wear after being used as a skinning knife (?)



I would like to express my warmest thanks to my wonderful excavation crew and to the Museum of Sagalund and especially "Västanfjärds byaråd" for their support. We are really looking forward to new digs! Let´s work together to find economic support for  archaeological fieldwork in 2015!


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A-studio Hanko 1941-1944 postponed

Because of the disturbing news regarding the situation in Ukraine and other domestic breaking news.

I would expect the WW2 "Hanko 1941-1944" episode to be sent very shortly, possibly already next Friday 9 pm.

Sry for the inconvenience, stay tuned!

Jan

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Hanko 1941-1944 A-Studio

Reporter Axa Sorjanen (YLE)  has done good again. Last spring he, himself and and I carefully documented the remains of the German WW2 transition camp (1942-1944)  in Hanko S Finland before they were bulldozed and subsequently totally forgotten.




Tomorrow the first  clip of this devoted work will be aired on Finnish National television (YLE) on A-studio (21.05 Finnish time). The program can of course be seen internationally but the presentation is in Finnish.



Tomorrows short (10 min) clip will show the framework of what our WW2 conflict archaeology project in the area is about. Participating in the program are me (archaeologist Jan Fast), military historian Dr. Oula Silvennoinen and Dr. Suzie Thomas who at the moment is working as a lecturer in museology at  the University of Helsinki. Thank You so much guys!!



I would also like to thank all of You who participated in the surveying and the limited digs at this stage of the project , especially archaeologist Anders Wikström (Sweden),  amateur historian Stig Leivo and archaeology students Vilma Tani and Heidi Moisio from the University of Helsinki dpt of Archaeology.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Between inland and sea in the stone- and bronze age.

It´s been a busy two weeks preparing for the upcoming excavations in Kemiö (Galtarby VI) and Vantaa (Jokiniemi) but now it seems I´m set to go, all official permits in hand and with a very good crews for both projects.

Starting with the Kemiö Galtarby VI excavation next week. The site has all the characteristics of a very early bronze age dwelling site situated in the area between inland and sea. This is the first time I have seen a site like this. It has all the characteristics of an early bronze age  site originally situated close to the archipelago so I have big hopes here. The island of Kemiö is very famous for it´s multitude of bronze age graves and some very  spectacular finds from a few of them. Finding the first bronze age dwelling site in the area would be very nice indeed.



The HEUREKA Vantaa (Jokiniemi) excavation will be a huge one with some 130 persons participating (although evenly distributed over many days). The co-operation with the people from both Heureka the Finnish Science Centre, the univerity of Helsinki  and the town of Vantaa has been excellent. For now my only concerns are about the removal of the topsoil of the excavation area which is situated in a park. I sincerely hope that the city of Vantaa will help us out here too.

The continuation of the archaeological excavations of Jokiniemi site after a break of approx. 20 years will no doubt mark the culmination of my digs in 2014. I´m soooo... looking forward to this one  <3.


I will post more on these projects (especially Galtarby) very shortly!