Monday, 31 March 2014

Ethic issues and conflict archaeology

After a somewhat turbulent past week (during which I decided not to co-operate with an international team who wanted to film on WW2 sites in Finland) things are moving forward in a good and steady manner again. My only concern is that I hope that all professional archaeologists that are doing conflict archaeological research show the same backbone and know were to draw the line.

Ethical issues are present on every dig, not only when uncovering human remains but in the whole process of treating the past with the respect it needs. Non destructive excavation methods are to be used whenever possible and if the decision to excavate is made it should be done in such a manner that there´s absolutely no doubt that the process of excavation can be recreated afterwards. Careful documentation is a laborious process but after the excavation and when the site has been dug  it´s all that´s left (along with the finds) to recreate and thus help understanding the site no matter how recent or old.

After getting this off my heart I´m now moving on with my scientific conflict archaeology project. I might still make a documentary about it but this time only with a team I trust (and know from before) and strictly in the limits of hardcore science and crystal clear rules on ethics.

Friday, 28 March 2014

"School Days" again

Today I visited Alppilan yläaste (Alppila "high school") in Helsinki and lectured about archaeology (in Swedish) for one more group of wonderful young people. Many good questions were raised by the students and time sure did fly again this time. With good young people like these the future looks very bright for Finland. I will visit the same school again in may, can´t wait :)

Friday, 21 March 2014

Creativity and hard times

I have always felt that creativity in poetry and music often springs from difficult times rather than times of "easy living". The same can in my opinion also be said about archaeology and creative new ideas regarding archaeological research.

After my graduation I have been intensively looking for work in museums etc. but without any success. The negative experiences have however not made me loose hope about my choice of profession but instead sparked an enormous amount of energy when it comes to generating new research ideas and networking with brilliant new people around these projects. Money is very short yes, but I have not felt this much alive and happy in many years (in fact since 1990).

I seriously doubt I would ever have had any of these ideas or met these fantastic persons if working in a secure nine to five profession. Always look at the bright side of life and keep listening to the Ramones :).

Since 1976

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Metal detecting in Great Britain (2008)

Great documentary and lot´s of interesting issues regarding metal detecting here:

Histories from the stone-age in Sipoo and Kimito Västanfjärd

Today I contacted  Sibbo Hembygdsförening and Västanfjärds Byaråd. Both are active societies and very interested in local prehistory and history The idea is to arrange archaeological excavations and small scale exhibitions in co-operation with them and to engage  local people (amateur historians, schoolchildren etc.) in the research of their fascinating but mostly untold history.

Recommended if You want to know more about "Kimito"!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Visit to Arkeologian Laitos or dpt of Archaeology at the University of Helsinki

Today was the first real day of spring here in S Finland, seagulls were screaming in the skies as I walked the streets towards the University. Small spots of snow here and there but I could feel the strong back of winter cracking.

Picked up a few great books (for free) at the dpt while waiting for the meeting with professor Mika Lavento. This one apparently belonged to the late  professor Ari Siiriäinen (what a treasure!).

I have to say the meeting with professor Lavento was a very friendly and supportive one. We seemed to share the same views regarding my planned fieldwork and the futuere co-operation with Heureka the Finnish Science Centre and the Alumni at the University of Helsinki .

Tomorrow it´s time to throw in last years excavation reports to the National Board of Antiquities and grab a speedy lunch with archaeologist Simo Vanhatalo at the legendary Restaurant Weeruska  :)

Weeruska restaurant

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Jokiniemi 2014

Yesterday was a very good day as I met up with experience director Mikko Myllykoski from Heureka the Finnish Science Center. The planning of the upcoming trial-/rescue excavation of the Jokiniemi stone-age dwelling site took a big leap forward and it now seems very,very likely that a short excavation will take place here from the 28.7. - 3.8.2014. We will be working on details next week so keep checking in here to get the latest news about the state of things.

Me and archaeology student Mr. Olli Eranti visited Jokiniemi after the meeting and this is what the place looks like now 20 years after the last excavation made here by Heureka (in 1994). Lots of memories and excitement in the air as we walked around this very special  site.

Vantaa Jokiniemi (Sandliden) 28.2.2014. The upper part of the dwelling site with finds of Ka II:1-2

Vantaa Jokiniemi (Sandliden) 28.2.2014 . The lower part of the dwelling site (towards Keravanjoki river) with finds of Ka II:2 and Ka III:1 and a few sherds of corded ware pottery and asbestos tempered pottery.