Dig-plans

There is no need to point out the traces of plowing in this GPR image as these are so awfully visible in this picture....

Traces of ploughing clearly visible in the ground penetrating radar data (Viberg 2014: 7, fig. 6).

To examine and record and interpret archaeological remains at Kvarnbo through controlled and intrusive fieldwork, i.e. through digging was definitely in my mind when I launched the project in the beginning of this year. But it were the results of the surveys already implemented that demonstrated an almost urgent need for archaeological excavations at the site – geophysical investigations in particular highlighted the negative impact that agricultural activities have had for the preservation of the archaeological structures. Archaeological features that are clearly visible in the infra-red aerial photography from the 1970ies are hardly distinguishable in the geophysics data, but the traces of modern ploughing are plainly visible from the top of the soil up to 0,3 meters depth… Thus, now, it is more or less the question of saving the available archaeological data from further destruction through the cultivation of the land. Therefore, for the past couple of weeks, during the incredibly hot July-evenings, I have been planning the first archaeological excavations at the site of Sa 14.9. The framework is now set and the application for the official permission to dig sent to the Museum of Åland.

Emanating from the financial situation (the support I have received for the fieldwork), a limited excavation of the remains at Sa 14.9 is planned for the first two weeks in September, from the 1st of September until the 14th of September (to be able to dig, I’m taking a vacation from the work I get paid for).

I aim to establish the character of the site, its date, its degree of preservation as well as its construction – all of that in order to provide a basis for planning much bigger and more ambitious archaeological excavations at the site in the future. Thus, my investigations this year pursue: 1) to find out if there are undisturbed contexts under the plow layer and what kinds of remains have survived, 2) to find out how much finds there are to be expected in the undisturbed contexts and what kind of find material there is at the site, 3) to take samples in order to get a more exact dating of the site as well as to determine the precise function of the site, and 4) to validate as well as to find out what kind of anomalies ground penetrating radar has captured.

To achieve these goals, I have a number of volunteers mainly from Åland to help me (yay!!!) and thereby, excavations this year will also function as a kind of community archaeology project. This is something I definitely aim to develop further as I sincerely believe that working with local people who find the project of direct interest to them will make a difference. To share how archaeology works and to present archaeological findings to non-archaeologists will help people to understand how the past is interpreted. For that reason, there will be also a special event organised for the public during the excavations with the help of the association Fornföreningen Fibula and the municipality of Saltvik. The plan is not only to present the ongoing dig and to have the finds on the display, but also to visualize the buildings at the site in a very special way that I will keep a secret as for now 😉

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