Just another project blog?

– In some respects, yes. Except it’s about settlement archaeology on the Åland Islands. Thus, it is a little different than other projects and blogs!

A number of interesting anomalies in the fields north of the church of Saltvik

A number of interesting anomalies in the fields north of the church of Saltvik

It all started with an infra-red photography showing a number of interesting anomalies in the fields north of the medieval church of Saltvik. In addition to a pair of circular imprints in the vegetation, there is an approximately 40 m long and 12 m wide impression that bears very strong similarities with the outlines of large longhouse structures known from Scandinavia. The dimensions of the presumed longhouse and the position by the church situated in the middle of the richest Late Iron Age settlement area and at the crossroads of Iron Age fairway indicate the importance of the site. Historical sources mention a royal estate in the area, the location of which is unknown.

The development of infrastructure and social organisation in Åland during Iron Age has been explained in reference to graves and mortuary practices. Change is justified with interaction between geographical and agro-technical aspects. There is a strong need for research based on settlement archaeology. With the newly discovered site in Saltvik as an outset, my project aims to account for and contextualize settlement development and change on Åland Islands during the Iron Age. Due to the rapid landscape transformation in these territories, the site is hypothesized to be rather short-lived and, therefore, the structures in the area similar to that of a central place would be easier to see and reconstruct, potentially also providing information in understanding the sites of a more extensive nature known from Scandinavia (see closer under THE PROJECT).

In this blog, I will keep you posted on the investigations I am doing into the Iron Age settlement development and change on Åland. It is my goal to open up my research, publicize academic work and disseminate my ideas. I also want to document my own learning process. I hope it will be as interesting for you as I hope it will be for me 🙂

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