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!