First post!

Hello there! And welcome to this funky project, which I have somehow managed to become a part of. Mads here, ready to take you all on a wondrous journey into.. well.. old stuff. First of all, there’s the customary disclaimer of English being my second language and all that, so apologies for any spelling/grammar mistakes. Also, there’s a few pictures of human remains further down this post. You’ve been warned.

Now, with that out of the way, what to talk about? I’ve been told that we’re supposed to be posting twice a week. So I guess I’ll try doing one post of what’s happened this week and another one with a random topic. I have a few ideas, but if there’s anything that you, the dear reader, wants to know about, don’t hesitate to ask.

 

So, what’s happened this week? Not an awful lot to be honest. Monday and Tuesday was spent in Odense (halfway across the country), being introduced to a new database which the VIPs wants us to start using.

It. Was. Horrible.

So, the new database is called SARA and is supposed to replace the old one called MUD (yes). MUD is horribly clunky, with a crappy UI and workflow. But at least it works. We’ve spent the better parts of 2 days listening to the lecturer say “it’s never done that before”, “that feature will be added later”, “sometimes it does that” and similar things. And even when SARA works, it’s inferior to the old database.

Wednesday was equally boring, to be honest. No databases. No technology at all really. Spent the entire day sorting the contents of cremation graves, putting dead people in one stack, rocks in another, pottery in a third and so on.

Couldn’t Iron Age people chosen an easier way to bury each other? Is that too much to ask? On the right are a few pieces of a bone dress needle hidden among the human remains.

But then came Thursday, and I went back into the field! Properly dressed and equipped with my trusty spade, it was time to get digging! Except.. winter.

Winter has come! We’ll be working here for roughly the next two months or so. Hoping for an early thaw, or I may need to buy some new thermal underwear. There’s a giant hole in my current ones, and I don’t want my left buttock freezing off. My woolen socks are also falling apart.

Now, Denmark is a part of Scandinavia. But we don’t usually really do that whole “extreme winter”-thing. Currently the temperature swings between +2/-4*C in our area, with intermittent snow and generally a fair amount of wind. So, unlike in Norway and parts of Sweden, where fieldwork stops for the winter, we do not get that luxury.

So, the above picture shows my workplace for the next couple months. It’s on the outskirts of the city of Vejle, situated on a knoll at about 100m above water. It’s noticeably colder up here than down at the fjord, near to where the museum lies.

A few weeks ago, there was a farm here. It’s been used for storage for the past few years and has now been torn down in the name of progress. We’re following the progress of the construction workers removing the old buildings, to see if anything interesting pops up. One of my colleagues did a trial excavation of the area sometime last year (I think) and the remains of older buildings were found, and we’re now gonna study these closer.

Currently, we’ve cleared away the remains of the farmhouse itself and are investigating a pavement underneath and also a well found underneath the upper layers of the house. Based on the pottery found in this layer, we’re probably somewhere in the 17th/18th century, but we expect to be find older phases beneath the pavement, which we’ll remove once we’re done registering it.

The area beneath the remains of the farmhouse. Freezing colleague is laying out measuring points for use with photogrammetry, which we use to register the stones. Thankfully modern technology means I don’t have to crawl around on my knees drawing every single stone.

So. That’s about it for this week. Well, except the weekend of course. We’re opening a new exhibition named “Gold and Chaos” tomorrow. Might do a post about that as well, if I can find the time.

 

 

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