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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Europe - Sweden - Gotland Archaeological Field School

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2010-06-29
End Date 2010-08-08

Multiple Sessions X
Multiple Session information

Field course, 2 weeks 29/6- 9/7 Field course, 2 weeks 12/7-23/7 Field course, 4 weeks 29/6-23/7 Find analyses course I 12/7-23/7 Find analyses course II 26/7 - 6/8

Archaeology Field School Location

Fårösund Gotland, Sweden

Archaeology Field School Tuition

During the course, there will be tuition from experienced field archaeologist, as well as for the find analyses course

Archaeology Field School Room and Board

Full board and room, staying in single rooms with access to TV, small kitchen and all facilities in a modern building. Linen are included

Archaeology Field School Travel
All travels to the excavation site is included. Travel to and from Gotland is not included
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

The full boards covers all costs of staying at the school in single rooms, including all meals, transports to and from the excavation site, excursion, all equipment, access to washing machine and Internet. For a small fee one can have access to internet at the room. Should be ordered when applying

Archaeology Field School Description

Viking Discovery Programme Gotland Viking Island The world’s biggest silver hoard showed up some years ago in a cultivated field in the north-east part of Gotland. It weighted some 67 kilo, and consisted of two parts, deposited in the ground some 3 meters apart. The hoard consisted of the astonishing amount of more then 14.200 coins, together with almost 500 massive silver arm rings and other objects, all of pure silver. The hoard that can be dated to the end of the 9th century had been placed in wooden boxes, and under the floor of a Viking Age house. In close connection to the silver hoard, there was also another deposit, this time of 20 kilo of bronzes objects. Also this hoard was placed in a wooden box, where the iron lock was still well preserved. The background for this extra ordinary wealth on Gotland in the Viking Age should be seen in its position in the Baltic Sea, being a kind of a meeting place between East and West, and its role as a kind of a middle man in the East-West trade. The very even distribution of the hoards on the island, gives a clear picture of a society were more or less all farms took part in a very lucrative trade. There are no sign of any king on Gotland in prehistoric time, instead there seems to be ample evidence that the society was built on farms. The Gotlandic farm In spite of the tremendous rich heritage from Viking Age, like the finding of about 700 silver hoards, there is still a very scanty knowledge of how houses and farms in general looked like and were constructed. Only a handful of places have been investigated so far, and much of the knowledge is coming from just two places; Fjäle farm in the parish of Ala and Burge farm in the parish of Lummelunda. The Viking Discovery Programme aim at changing this situation. With the start in summer 2007, there will be destined excavations towards Viking Age houses and farms in different locations around the island. Each year, excavations will be carried out at a new location, and by this way, we will have information from different places on the island, and by that be able to draw some conclusions about house constructions and farmsteads in general. Summer 2010, we will excavate a deserted farmstead up in northern Gotland. We know it was abounded in the 18th century, but one of the main question is when it was established. Stray finds and prehistoric monments from the area suggest that it should be in Viking Age, or even a bit earlier. Another important research question concerns the house constructions at the time, as well as how the houses were placed in the landscape. What we know today, the normal house in Viking Age was a wooden construction with posts along the walls. The entrains seems always to be in one of the gables, and the house consist normally of two rooms, one small room at the entrains, and then one big room, where all the people lived. Viking Discovery Programme This international field course gives an introduction to the Viking Age period on Gotland and provides practical and circumstantial knowledge of archaeological and human geographical methodology in investigating a prehistoric site. The field course combine lectures with practical field investigations of a Viking Age farmstead. The course aims to investigate house constructions, as well as the social patterns and physical structures of the site using archaeological field methodology. Much emphasis is put on the use of digital techniques for survey and documentation. As a complement to the field course, there will be an opportunity to work with the actual artefacts from the excavation in a course about Artefacts analyses, interpretation and handling. The course starts two weeks after the field course, and can be followed on a two week basis. These courses will be open to students and amateurs from all over the world, and here is the chance to participate in a fascinating excavation programme. The excavation site is situated some 25 km from the municipality Fårösund, about 50 kilometres north of Visby along the east coast, where the deserted farm File is situated. Course description The course is interdisciplinary and comparable with university studies in archaeology. Most of the lectures, as well as teaching of investigation techniques are carried out by personal from universities. The aim of the courses is to give the participants: A general knowledge of archaeological and human geographical methodology and documentation of prehistoric sites. A practical and circumstantial cognisance of archaeological excavation methods and artefacts via an investigation of a Viking Age site. A basic knowledge about Viking Age and Early Middle Ages artefacts and the handling of them Knowledge about Viking Age Gotland. The course runs eight hours a day, five days a week, broken into two parts, one hands-on excavation, and another daily session of registration work, exercises, classes, conferences and excursions. Some of the weekends will be devoted to excursion on the island. Students will receive an introduction on basic aspects of field excavation techniques, which will be applied during excavation. In the field, students will process, classify, register and study excavated material. In addition to the daily excavations, students will further learn about the history of Gotland by way of organised excursions to cultural sites on the island. Courses will be taught in English. The courses consists of introductory lectures, as well as a field course containing surveying, excavation, documentation and interpretation of artefacts. Before arriving to Gotland, some basic literature studies should be carried out concerning Viking history in general, and about Gotland Viking Age in specific. The main part of the field course will take place at the site of a Viking Age farm, both in the form of site lectures and dealing with excavation technique and includes themes as; archaeological field methods, documentation and visualisation, Osteology and a survey of Viking Age artefacts. The fieldwork will be carried out with great emphasis on giving the participants an introduction to archaeological field methodology, digital techniques, and handling of finds and survey documentation. The artefact analyses course will take place at the school with facilities to clean, document and register artefacts. There will be extensive literature about Gotlandic Viking and Medieval Artefacts. The course ends, for those who plan to use it for credits at home universities with the accomplishment of a report, containing a description and an interpretation of a selected part of the investigation at File. The accomplishment of the report will take place at the end of the course. Directed at Directed at students, professors, teachers, and anyone that would like to increase their knowledge of archaeology and Viking Age history.  Previous experience in archaeology or excavation is not required. The course will be limited to 30 participants per turn.  Spaces will be reserved when SEK 700 application fee for the course is received. The remainder of the programme cost will be due about 25 days before the start of the course. Certificate At the end of the course, students will receive a certificate of participation that will summarise their performance in the course.  Students will also receive a letter stating that they were volunteers at the Viking Discovery Programme project participating in archaeological research. Application Application to the field courses should be done before the 15th of May 2010. In connection to the application, the registration fee of SEK 700 should be paid to Gotland Residential School for adult education. Full payment must be made 3 weeks before the course.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

The excavation will be about a gotlandic farmstead, probably dating from AD100 to 16th C.

Time Period

Iron Age, Viking Age, Medieval time

Field School Setting/Conditions

The excavation site is about 25 km from the school in the countryside. The excavation will take place both in a meadow and in a cultivated field.

How is the project area accessed each day

Travel to and from the excavation site will be by minibuses, and are included in the fee

What is the daily schedule for the field school

Working days are from Monday to Friday, from 9 to 17. Weekends are free

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school

The field course is carried out through Gotland College of ADult Education under the leadership of Associate Professor Dan Carlsson, Gotland University

Directors and Instructors

Staff Project responsible is Associate professor Dan Carlsson. Responsible for the field work is Assistant Project Archaeologist M.A. Michael Kahl. For the Find analyses course M.A. Anna Pettersson.

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

During the field course, there will be teaching of - field archaeological methods - about documentation and interpretation of trenches, plans and profiles etc - Phosphate mapping - Metal detecting - Interpretation of historical maps The Find analyses course, students will learn; - Analyse and register finds in FileMakerPro database - Interpret dating, functions etc - learning of conservation of iron objects

On rain days will there be lab work?

Rainy days, there will be other activities, like lectures, labwork, minor excursions

Will there be additional organized activities?

During the courses, there will lectures in some evenings, and also a day long excursion to historical sites around Gotland, including a visit to the regional museum with a huge collection of artefacts from Viking Age and Medieval time, not at least silver hoards from Viking Age

Will there be additional organized activities?

Lectures in soem evenings, upon possibilites also minor excursions in weekends

Is travel restriced during free time?

No restriction to travel

Other resources students will find useful

The best entrees to Gotland is through the tourist office,

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Associate Professor Dan Carlsson Arkeodok Blåeldsvägen 3 621 50 Visby Sweden

Field School Contact E-mail:
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