Monday, 26 October 2015

Back from the 7th Baltic Archaeological Seminar BASE-7 in Latvia

Home again after three days of lectures in Latvia. It was so much fun meeting all the wonderful people from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland. Not a single uninteresting lecture or session!! A big thanks to every single one of you for making this an event to remember <3 :).

The visit was especially rewarding for me personally as (with the help of the arrangers) I was able to visit the superb stone age sites of Purciems and Gipka on the last day of the seminar. It was in this area that anthropomorphical clay figurines very similar to those found in Vantaa Jokiniemi were discovered by Latvian archaeologists E. Sturms and I. Loze in the 20th century.

Happy archaeologist on the neolithic dune settlement site of Purciems, Latvia. Photo Gabriele Gutaitiene.

We also visited the dramatic find site of a large bronze age hoard on the beach near the harbour town of Ventspils.

 Ventspils beach, nearby the place were a large bronze-age hoard was found in 2001.

On the way to the find site.

We also visted the fantastic museum housed in the restored castle in Ventspils. There is a very neat archaeology exhibition in the castle!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Deutsches Lager Hanko 11.10.2015

This was the final day of the excavation of the site in 2015. Icy roads on the way south and -2 C when I reached Hanko at 09.00 am. During the day the temperature gradually rose to about +4 degrees  C.

Many nice finds this day too :). A couple of them illustrating the Finnish-German "Waffenbruderschaft".

This Finnish Spoon-Fork item was found buried deep down in the German dump. The date on it correlates with other dated finds from the site.

Int. (19)42

The other finds consisted of bottles, cartridges, coins, smoking utensils, tubes etc. etc. This nice medicine bottle can be attributed to E. Merck Darmstadt.

I will be updating more of the finds as I clean them during the next couple of weeks!

Final day of the 2015 field season, thanks

to the ever so changing Finnish summer weather. I will post an overview of this fantastic field season in the next couple of days.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank each and everyone of you who participated in my digs (there were 222 of You in all). Hope to see you all again in 2016!

Thanks to all the devoted archaeology students from Helsinki University dpt of archaeology. Olli, Nelli, Janne, Anu and Jimena <3. Not forgetting Max, Enni and Tuomas. Swedish archaeologist Anders Wikström helped me out while things looked bad with my foot in Hanko in  june.

Thank You to all the arrangers. Heureka, Uniarts, Karis Musei- och Hembygdsförening, Sällskapet Natura, Karis-Billnäs Gymnasium, Ekenäs Gymnasium, Kimito Vuxeninstitut, Hangö Gymnasium and  Hankoniemen Lukio.

Thanks to the NBA (especially Teija and Satu). Thank you City of Vantaa, Kimitoön, Raseborg and Hanko. Vantaa City Museum (Andreas Koivisto) and Hanko Museum (Laura Lotta Andersson).

Thanks for the much needed financial support to Sparbanksstiftelsen i Hangö, Vetenskapsådet (Sweden), Svenska Kulturfonden and Kulturfonden för Sverige och Finland.

Finally a big thanks to my sponsor Leica Geosystems for helping me out in Jokiniemi. Looking forward to 2016 already.

Best from Jan&Jan and Japo.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Gebirgsjäger pin, pipes and bottles and more

Excavating the last layers we rather surprisingly ran into a multitude of different objects (again). Combs, rifle shell casings, bottles and pipes, only to name a few. The single most beautful thing so far must be a gilded Gebirgsjäger pin with a pickaxe and an Edelweiss (to the right). The pin is missing it´s needle, it´s 3 cm:s in length.

 Gebirgsjäger, Edelweiss pin.

What was particularly great about this beautiful find was that it was found by the youngest participant of the day in a totally whole and untouched context. He also found some wonderfully preserved wine bottles!

German wine bottles.


Tomorrow we will round up this years excavations. Kinda sad really but as soon as the snow melts next spring we will be back ad this time with at least a full one month scientific archaeological excavation!

Friday, 9 October 2015

A friday well spent digging under clear autumn skies

Ruska over the "Ukrainerlager".

Today I supervised the digging by a group of students from Ekenäs Gymnasium. The finds were once again excellent and covered a wide variety of objects including the first Sovjet related item (a green enamel mug). The German finds consisted of bottles, different boxes (soap bx and an aluminium container for shoe polish), an aluminium mug and different articles related to personal hygiene such as a razor handle.

 Sovjet enamel mug, by the location of the find this could have been used by one of the Ukrainian prisoners of war.

 The inside of a standard German soldiers soap box.

 An aluminium mug.

Razor handle.

While we were excavating archaeology student Anu Varjo and amateur archaeologist Esa Kukkola continued and completed the documentation of the barracks in the "Entlausungsdorf". A very good day indeed. 

"Sauna, Entlausungsdorf".

Tomorrow we will continue the excavations of the western part of the WWII German transition camp.
Different sizes of German food ration cans lined up to be counted and measured.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Documenting the buildings of "Deutsches Lager Hanko"

Trial excavations.

Not so much digging today but instead we concentrated on the documentation of the "Baracke"  in the "Entlausungsdorf" area of the camp. The documentation is part of the scientific research of the surviving buildings of the camp.

The general idea is to study which parts of the buildings have survived in an original state after their construction in 1942/1943. We chose the "Heeres Betriebstoff 64 Baracke" as starting point as it appeared to be the best preserved one of the "Baracke" in the area.

HBK 64 Baracke, Entlausungsorf 8.11.2015.

HBK 64 Baracke, Entlausungsorf, detail.

HBK 64 Baracke, Entlausungsorf, detail.

When looking more closely at the largest of the buildings several later modifications and additions to the buildings could easily be detected. For instance in the largest building in the area the roof had been raised and original window openings closed.

There used to be a window here...

A new window has been inserted in one of the barracks.

The sauna seems to be the most authentic of all the buildings in the area with only very minor modifications having been made  since 1944 :).

Sauna, roof detail.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Back to Hanko...

... for four hectic days of WWII conflict archaeology.

The "Greif-Division" was in Hanko in August 1944.

Thursday excavating the "Ukrainerlager" area with students from "Ekenäs Gymnasium". In the afternoon Nina and archaeology student Anu Varjo will focus on the documentation of the barracks of the Entlausungsdorf while I will be off interviewing a former member of the "Lotta - Svärd" organisation who worked in the camp in 1943.

German General Falkenhorst and memebers of the Lotta-Svärd orgnisation in Finland. Photo Bundesarchiv.

Friday will include more digging with another group of students. Archaeology student Anu (Helsinki University dpt of Archaeology) will spend the whole day documenting and measuring the barracks of the "Entlausungsdorf" area for her own research project.

Small German medicine bottle "A Nattermann&Cie-Köln- Braunsfeld"

Saturday and Sunday we will be concentrating on excavating as much as possible of the western dump of the main camp. Many local people will be participating in my last community archaeology dig of 2015.

"Deutsches Lager Hanko" 06.10.2015.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

More DLH excavation news on thursday 8.10.2015 at 8PM CET!

When we will be digging deep  into the "Entlausungsdorf" area of the camp as well as the western dump!

Anyone can join, please email me at !

"Deutsches Lager Hanko" 5-6.10.2015 excavation update

Back home again after two days of rather intense digging. First of all sorry that I didn´t update here yesterday but the Wifi in my accomondation was down due to technical failure. Below are a few of our finds from the first days of the dig. Here we go!


We started off exactly were we left off a couple of weeks earlier and carefully dug our way down some few centimeters more before stopping for documentation. Naturally a lot of cans but also some objects made of wood and leather and glass. This schnapps glass was especially nice!


Among the larger iron cans were a few aluminium ones "Made in Norway". And a few other items such as a small aluminium container for condensed milk (with the label AL-DIN 252).

Can (condensed milk)

 Norwegian "Sardine" can.

The weather was excellent but rather cold (especially in the morning). Due to the closeness to the sea the "Ruska" hasnt set in yet despite the low temperatures during the night.

The "Ukrainerlager area" of "Deutsches Lager Hanko" photographed today (6.10.2015).

As usual we also found lots of bottles. Today the nicest finds were an Austrian beer bottle "Puntigamer"...

... and a German Sek or Champagne bottle!

I would appreciate some help in identifying the brand!!

We are forced to take a break with the excavation tomorrow but from friday to sunday it will be full steam ahead again!! Thanks for watching!