Day of Archaeology in Rauma, Finland

This year the international Day of Archaeology in Finland was spent mainly only in Rauma, where Muuritutkimus celebrated the day with “open pits” – visitors were given the opportunity to explore normally restricted excavation site with guided tours.

Finds representing the mundane town life of Rauma in 19th and 18th centuries.

Finds representing the mundane town life of Rauma in 19th and 18th centuries.

In two hours ninety-four visitors got to see some finds and unearthed structures at the site. Excavation site is located in the centre of the wooden town of Rauma. Town center, which is called Old Rauma, is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Currently the excavation is on the 18-19th century cultural layers but we hope to reach the medieval layers later.

The people of Rauma are usually very interested in their history so it wasn’t a surprise when the visitors were mainly local. Local media was also interested in our day of archaeology event and presented it in newspapers and radio.

The event was successful – maybe the Pokemon GO – lures Muuritutkimus placed on nearby Pokestops played a part in the great number of visitors.

Public Archaeology at Ellinniitty, Rauma, Finland

During the summers of 2014 and 2015 archaeological excavations are conducted at Ellinniitty, an Early Roman Iron Age site north of the city of Rauma in the western coast of Finland. The site consists of 115 low stone mounds and a settlement site.

Both in 2014 and 2015 we had an open day for the public during the Day of Archaeology. In 2014 80 people visited the site and a summary of events was written to the Day of Archaeology website by two of our archaeology students. This year the weather was not on our side but still nearly 30 people came to visit. Their age varied from a three year old to pensionaries. About half of the visitors were locals who were interested to learn about their own history.

Our archaeology students gave the visitors tours around the site and told them about our work. Some visitors also wanted to take part in the actual digging.

This year there was also a chance for any archaeology enthusiasts to work a day at the dig. During one week in June we had up to ten people per day participating in the normal fieldwork of digging, sieving and learning with us. Most of the participants were adults but we also had a couple of children for a day. Some of the people drove nearly 300 km to join us!

With these participants we dug an area where our settlement site is located. It is also the area where we have the most finds. Everyone from our volunteers found pieces of pottery and some also found tiny pieces of burned bone. The participants were very interested in our work and asked many excellent questions. It was a fun variation to a normal week at the excavation for all of us!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


The Day of Archeology in Ellinniitty, Finland

Muuritutkimus Ltd. and Rauma Museum are co-operating on an excavation project at the area of Ellinniitty in Rauma. Last year approximately 40 different type of cairn-like stone settings were found in survey at the site. The intention is to excavate and learn the nature of these cairns during this and the following year. At the Day of Archaeology an open day was held at the excavation site. Visitors had a chance to visit the site and explore the cairns and the work of archaeologists. Excavation team gave visitors guided tours around the site and showed different states of excavation on cairns and some finds from the site. Visitors could also see different types of documentation happening; 3D modelling, photographing and using of total station. Some trowels and buckets were provided for the younger visitors who got to try digging themselves. Oh the joy when piece of ceramic was found! Some of the visitors were visiting excavations for the first time ever and eventhough there were no Indiana Jones presumptions people were happy to learn new things about the everyday work of archaeologists. For us, archaeology students hired for the summer, the open day was exciting. None of us had hardly any experience of being guides on excavations, so we were quite anxious about the job, but the joy of teaching soon took over and after few tours everyone was quite routined and able to enjoy the occasion. To us it seemed that the visitors had as much fun as we did. Guides got suprisingly many questions and most of them even got answered. We didn’t know what to expect from the open day but the team was happy to have 80 visitors (20 of them children and teens) and couple of reporters. Judging by the number of visitors, there seems to be lots of intrest in history in the town of Rauma. Since the history belongs to all of us, we think it’s important to share our knowledge with the locals about the prehistory of their home region. Keep on digging and see you next year! – Oona Jalonen & Arttu Liimatainenand the rest of the excavation teamV__7986V__9F44

A Search for the Iron Age Village in Kauttua, Finland, continues

Kauttua village near the west coast of Finland, by the Eurajoki River, is well known for its large burial site dating back to the Finnish Iron Age. The first archaeological surveys took place in the 1980s by Pirkko-Liisa Lehtosalo-Hilander. Eurajoki River has been an important waterway from the Sea of Bothnia to the inner parts of Satakunta region towards the Lake Pyhäjärvi. Due to the land uplift process, the river has changed from those days. The assumed place of ancient village of Kauttua is just below the rapids between the Lake Pyhäjärvi and Eurajoki River.

The site of the medieval village in Kauttua has been unknown. The oldest archive source, a cadastral map from the year 1696, presents a homestead of 10 houses by the bridge leading across Eurajoki River. A later cadastral map from 1790 presents large holdings of one farm at the same site and around it. There is still one building left at the river bank, close to the old bridge fundaments. In 2008PhD Kari Uotila and his team accomplished low aerial photo investigations above the site confined by information from historical maps. The photographs reveal an area of black soil just beside the only remaining building. They also reveal two light lines, presumably the earlier roads.

Low aerial photo from the excavation site

Low aerial photo from the excavation site


 The first excavations since 1980´s took place last year. According to the findings from 2012, the new excavation site was cleared today.The excavations are running for a period of two weeks, and they are open for public, as well for adults as for children. The excavation site in actually in the “backyard” of a kindergarten (the red building in the picture above), and the kindergarten participates the project daily.

The latest news will be posted to the project blog and the project facebook site. You can follow the at:

Blog: Kulttuurien kerroksia Kauttualla

Facebook: Kulttuurien kerroksia Kauttualla

PhD Kari Uotila and Archeologist Ulla Moilanen expecting the cleared excavation site in Kauttua

PhD Kari Uotila and Archeologist Ulla Moilanen expecting the cleared excavation site in Kauttua