Excavating

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Hello guys!
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).

new bootsI bought new rubber boots for this! Aren’t they cute? :)

leråkerThis 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.

börjar grävaTime to start digging! Here we’re removing the top soil to get down to the older stuff.

arkeologi aktivitetAnd here is the field, now buzzing with archaeological activity! The lady in the yellow jacket is our boss.

rainDay 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

stone featuresOkay, 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.

dog's jawMost 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!

brushing findsJust 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.

findsLast 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.

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7 responses »

    • It is too cool and exciting for me to comprehend :D I’ll make a new blog entry about this dig by the end of next week so you can see the progress we’ve made (if any ;)

  1. Cool, that you are digging as well now ;-) And your excavation looks so huge. I’ve seldom seen that many people on a field…
    Hope you really enjoy the following two weeks!!

    • The excavation itself isn’t that huge. We started with 5 trenches of 10 square metres each, and we’re 50 students. So yeah, one square metre each… x__x Cozy! Now we have extended all trenches with 2 square metres each so it’s a liiittle less crowded. We’re both undergraduates and master students at the dig, hence the big number of students. It’s crowded!

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