Monday, 31 August 2015

Deutsches Lager Hanko day one (31.8)

The dig started off in perfect summer weather, the sea was totally calm too. Today was quite a short day were we only concentrated on the excavation area from june, making sure it was dug to the bottom.

Brushing finds "in situ".

I was slightly surprised in the amount of finds though the layers were clean yellow sand. Some 12 + food cans a couple of bottles and beer capsules were among the more frequent finds.

Food ration cans.

We also found some smoking utensils such as a German cigarrette box (Echt Orient) and even one cigarrette. Seems like the sandy soil has helped preserve paper items.. A mirror and a comb were the only finds associated with personal hygiene today.

 Lemonade bottle.

Todays "Reichspfennig" coins were from 1940 and 1941...

 10 Reichspfennig (1940)

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Back to "Deutsches Lager Hanko" 31.8 - 3.9.2015

Finally it´s time to continue were we left off in june 2015. We will continue  excavating the first large German WW2 dump we located in the area in the autumn of 2014. There are at least two others too but at the moment we will be taking it slow and concentrate on the documentation.

Wehrmacht standard food cans from "Deutsches Lager Hanko".

This is only the start of the conflict archaeology excavations of this large WW2 site. The excavations are a part of my doctoral dissertation about the camp. Other fieldwork will take me on roadtrips to the Eismeerfront and to Germany (Bremen and Berlin) and Austria  (Wienna) in the year to come.

More cans "in situ"... :)

The buildings that have stood the test of time for 70 + years are also being documented, drawn and published as part of the project but more about this interesting part of the project later.

 Gebirgsjäger  Bergschuhe "in situ".

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Quality research takes time and patience

Several people have been asking me about the status of the "Deutsches Lager Hanko 1942-1944" project, results of interviews and the upcoming book and exhibition. Below are some answers to the more FAQ:s.

- Interviews with locals living in Hanko start next week. Next Tuesday I will also be making telephone calls to all of You in Hanko who want to participate in my research!

- All schools and other educational institutions in Hanko will be contacted about the project next week!

- Archaeological excavations of "Deutsches Lager Hanko" will take place from 31.8-3.9.2015. Anyone interested in participating should  email me at More excavations will take place in October 2015!

- Archive and other research will start after the first meeting with fellow researchers @ the University of Helsinki on the 4th of september 2105.

- A first trip to Bremen and  war archives in Germany is scheduled for November 2015.

- An exhibition of the project has been agreed upon with Hanko Museum and will be shown in Hanko in 2017.

- A book with the theme "Deutsches Lager Hanko 1942-1944" will be presented in Hanko in 2017.


Jan Fast

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The WW2 conflict archaeology project "Deutsches Lager Hanko 1942-1944" announces new excavations in 2015!

The archaeological excavation of the WW2 Ukrainian prisoner of war camp and the large German transition camp in Hanko S. Finland continue in September and October!! The digs are part of my doctoral dissertation of the camp.

German and Finnish soldier in the harbour of  Hanko S. Finland probably in 1942. Photo SA-kuva.

The first leg of the excavations is scheduled for 31.8 - 3.9. 2015.  The second dig will probably be from 5.10 - 11.10.2015. Anyone interested in WW2 history or archaeology is invited to participate. There is no participation fee and all necessary digging equipment is provided on site by JFArchaeology.

The scientific research has made possible by grants from "Sparbanksstiftelsen i Hangö" and the photographic art project ("Poetic Archaeology") is funded by "Vetenskapsrådet" (Sweden). The excavations are carried out in close co-operation with the National Board of Antiquities, Hanko Museum, the City of Hanko and Metsähallitus. Permits for the excavations have been granted by the landowner (city of Hanko). All finds are documented, catalogued and kept at Hanko Museum.

Luftwaffe eagle.

Bakelite box for the Gebirgsgeschütz 36.

Razor parts.

Food can and ink bottle (Faber)

Digging a pair of  "Gebirgsjäger" boots.

The excavation will produce large amounts of period finds illustrating the German military prescence in Hanko during WW2. I invite local as well as foreign participants to join the dig. Send your letters of interest to

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Vacation time

I will be updating here again in mid August after my summer vacation.  Very interesting new digs coming up. WW2 archaeology in Hanko S Finland ("Deutsches Lager Hanko 1942-1944") and Early Comb Ceramic Culture in Raseborg SW Finland. Please send a letter of interest to if You wish to participate.

Raseborg, Långåmossarna stone-age dig.

The sad railway track to "Deutsches Lager Hanko".