As some of you know I am studying historical archaeology. This has been the first week of three weeks of field studies, i.e. excavating! We are looking for the borders of an iron age settlement in Uppåkra. Here is the official website (in Swedish). This is the place of the largest (found) iron age settlement in Scandinavia, so it’s more than a little exciting! It is also exciting because this is my very first excavation and it’s been my lifelong dream to be an excavating archaeologist (some archaeologists don’t do any field work).
I bought new rubber boots for this! Aren’t they cute? :)
This is the field we are digging, but before we put any trenches in. You can find a lot of old bones, flint and pottery if you keep an eye open while walking on this field.
Time to start digging! Here we’re removing the top soil to get down to the older stuff.
And here is the field, now buzzing with archaeological activity! The lady in the yellow jacket is our boss.
Day two of the excavation we had some heavy rain! And you can probably imagine what rain does to a field like this. I’m glad I bought my cute and functional rubber boots! :D Not even this weather could stop me from being in a great mood. Some others in the group weren’t so happy though ;P
Okay, so this is our trench at its most interesting point so far. We have found a couple of stone features. I’ve marked them out for you so it’s easier to see them. We have now started to remove the stones and dig under them to see how far down they go and what they could be. It seems like the big area (blue) is stones put there to even out the ground. We found a lot of scraps of animal bones among them, and also some flint and pottery. The green area is still somewhat of a mystery. The stones are bigger and go deeper down and there is some evidence of burning. We’re still not entirely done with the green feature yet, so we’ll see if anything more turns up there.
Most of the bones seem to be from pigs or sheep/goat. Today I found a piece of (what’s most probably) a dog’s jaw. Just imagine man’s best friend running around this area about 1000 years ago and ending up here in our trench!
Just to prove to you guys that I’m actually a part of this excavation; here I am, cleaning some of our finds. It’s something eerie and absurd about cleaning 1000 years old teeth with a toothbrush.
Last picture for this time: Some of our finds so far. Lots of pieces of bones, as you can see, but also some flint and pottery.
I still have 2 weeks of excavation to go so we’ll see what more our trench has to offer. It would be neat to find some gold pieces that has turned up in other excavations in Uppåkra, but even if we “only” find stones and bones it’s amazing to be a part of discovering more of this place’s history.