Tuesday, 27 June 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö" day 2/15 of the 2017 excavation season!

What a wonderful day. We continued excavating in the westernmost area of the camp and opened up a new area in some 400 m:s from here closer to the remaining barracks. Many interesting new finds from both areas today. I will post photos from the new area tomorrow!

Excavation area one (extended) layer one 27.6.2017

More partly finished field made rings (we have found three already from the same context!

 Another half finished  field made ring!!


Seems like someone cut out the hammer and sickle from this (1937) Sovjet coin. Why and who did this is of course pure speculation.



Very nice glass items today, wine, beer, "viina", soda bottles and more...




It´s nice to find Sovjet items during the excavation too. This rather large cockade was found in the surface layer by the youngest participant in the excavation :)

Large Sovjet cockade !

This is where he found the cockade!

Monday, 26 June 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö" day 1/15 of the 2017 excavation season

This was the day we had all been waiting for for almost one year. The 2017 excavation started with us locating a new untouched German dump site.

Jasmin speaking to the participants about excavation techniques.

Although it´s still too early to tell for sure, it seems like this one too has been left untouched after the Germans left Hanko and the transition camp in 1944.

A new dump full with different finds!

Although this was only the first day of this years excavation quite alot o unique finds turned up, among them a nice field made ring along with strap ends, buttons, glass bottles  and the very common German food ration cans.

A partly unfinished field made ring!

German tunic button with makers mark G.L.L.

This week our team consists of some 20 + participants and four archaeologists. Truly wonderful people!

Todays youngest participant.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö" calling 26.6-14.7.2017

Tomorrow it´s finally time for the three week long 2017-season of excavating "Durchgangslager Hangö". The excavation is financed by Hangö Sommaruniversitet.

New talented team, some 20+ participants per day and at least three different extensive  excavation areas within the German WW2 (1942-1944) transition camp!

"Heer" soldiers aboard one of the German Cargo ships heading for Finland

The expectations are of course high again but we will have to work harder than before to find the undisturbed ("closed find" areas) of the German camp. At the same time we are very cautious about disturbing the vegetation in the nature reserve area as little as possible.

German soldiers by a gun position inside "Durchgangslager Hangö"

From Monday onwards I will be updating our excavation finds here on a daily basis. Please follow our research here in English and in Swedish on the blog of Hangö Sommaruniversitet (on a weekly basis).


The find layer in 2016

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Presenting the crew: Jenna Savolainen research assistant

My name is Jenna and i’m studying archaeology in Helsinki University. I’m almost done with my bachelor’s degree and after that I hope to see myself continuing with human rights, forensic science and archaeology, all mixed together.

Research assistant Jenna Savolainen.

My intrests in archaeology are in modern time for sure. I want to work with human rights (investigation of mass graves, massacres etc.) using (and finding) archaeological methods and practices to do research and observe the evidences.


This would be my first long term excavation in Hanko, although I have excavated there for short periods of time (two summers) by now. This going to be exciting summer for sure!

Presenting the crew: Jasmin Jyrä senior research assistant

My name is Jasmin Jyrä and I'm a 4th year Archaeology and History of Art Student from the University of Aberdeen. At the moment I'm working on my dissertation on late 19th century glass in rural context.

Jasmin Jyrä, senior research assistant.

This will be my second Summer in Hanko excavation. Conflict Archaeology chose me and not the other way around, and I'm very excited to see what we will find this year!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Presenting the crew: Toni Tossavainen research assistant

Our research team consists of five people. Toni Tossavainen assisted the dig in 2016. During this years excavation he is working as a resarch assistant. His main job during the excavation is taking care of the finds and guiding the participants during the first week of the excavation.

I asked Toni to write a little about himself for you.

Toni Tossavainen, research assistant.

Hey. My name is Toni and I`m (technically) a 3rd-year archaelogy student at university of Helsinki. My interests in archaeology are wide, maybe most notably kognitive evolution. 

Conflict archaeology (as it pertains to ww2) is as good as any a subject to widen the window I can see out of.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Countdown to the largest WW2 conflict archaeology excavation ever in Finland!

Countdown time! Today it´s only 10 days until the start of the largest WW2 conflict archaeology excavation ever  here in Finland. 

Three weeks and 70+ participants (some 20 + per day) makes up for a very serious dig indeed. The excavation is arranged by Hangö Sommaruniversitet. Additional financial support for the dig  has been granted by Aktia-Stiftelsen i Hangö and Vetenskapsrådet (Sweden).

Prior to the dig I feel it´s time to present the team in charge of the dig, I will start with myself.


Jan Fast, archaeologist

Jan Fast is a Finnish archeologist (MA) and exhibition coordinator. He has studied archeology and history at the University of Helsinki, the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi. 

At the moment Fast is working on his doctoral dissertation about the archeology and history large German, Second World War transition camp situated at Cape Tulliniemi, Hanko S. Finland. 

Jan Fast has conducted some 150 archeological excavations in Finland since his start as a field archeologist in 1986. During his long career as a field archeologist he has worked at several different science institutions. 

While working as an exhibition coordinator at Heureka, The Finnish Science Centre 1989-1997 he organized the famous archeological excavations of the large Neolithic dwelling site in Vantaa Jokiniemi S. Finland. Some five hundred people participated in what still is considered the largest community archeology dig in Finland.
 

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The "Janakkala Swordsman" has now been put on display at Vapriikki!

In 2014 a group of metal detectorists exploring an area in southern Finland stumbled upon the burial plot of a fascinating ancient figure. The extraordinarily well-preserved skeleton was found buried with different swords one fromthe viking age and the other one from the Crusade Period (ca 1100 AD), perhaps to aid him as he journeyed into the afterlife, 

The newly found grave of the Janakkala swordsman in 2014. Photo the National Board of Antiquities.


“There were two swords, one on top of the other, the smaller of which was a Viking-era artifact,” NBA researcher Simo Vanhatalo told YLE. “There is now speculation that it may have been in a fire. In other words, it may have been an heirloom that was in a cremation fire. So that’s a rare combination. It’s one of the longest swords ever found in Finland”.

A couple of days ago the skeletal remains along with the conserved finds from the grave were put on display at the Vapriikki Museum in Tampere, Finland. We are of course still waiting for the scientific publication of the find but this is a good start! Please visit Tampere this summer, Finland and experience the magnificient "Birkkala 1017 AD" exhibition!!

The "Janakkala Swordsman" display at Vapriikki Museum. Photo Vapriikki.

Friday, 2 June 2017

We located the place of the German gun position!

This was the fifth and final day of the pedagogic conflict archaeology dig of Durchgangslager Hangö. Before the start of todays excavation we visited the site of the German gun emplacement in 1944.

My wonderful assistants, archaeology students Anu and Tia at the same spot as the German soldiers in september 1944.

After this we finished the excavations of the large German dump site. Nice finds ´til the end here! The site has been a real treasure trowe providing an intriguing glimpse into the daily life in the transition camp 1942-1944. A big thanks to all the wonderful students From Hangö Högstadium and Hankoniemen Lukio. Thank You archaeology students Jenna, Anu and Tia for all your help and the interesting discussions!!! 

Digging the last layers of the dump.

Last wine bottle from the dump.

 Part of a "Hohner" harmonica.

Aluminium spoon.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

A windy day exploring "Durchgangslager Hangö"

Today was quite a windy day for archaeology on the southernmost tip of Finland. The temperature barely rose over +4 degrees Celsius on the windy side of Cape Tulliniemi!!

"Durchgangslager Hangö" 1.6.2017. Photo Jose Antonio Botella.

Today we started excavating layer three of the northern part of the German WW2 dump that we located in 2015. The results were good despite the fact that we had only a limited amount of time to spend on the digging itself (the documentation work took some time). 

Students from Hankoniemen lukio excavating layer three of the German WW2 dump.

Tomorrow will be a lot easier and probably very rich in finds! Below are a few of the more interesting finds from today.

 Chess piece!

 Well worn tooth brush head.

 Bowl fragment.

 Soap box with pack of German cigarrettes.