Excavation Report from Birgittas udde 2016

Birgittas udde
Birgittas udde with our 2016 trenches. Plan by Ethan Aines.

Two years ago myself and Ethan Aines headed the first professional excavation at Birgittas udde, a small Medieval stronghold. It’s on a promontory into Lake Boren near the town of Motala, on land belonging to Ulvåsa manor. One of Ulvåsa’s first known inhabitants was a young strong-willed 14th century noblewoman who would one day become Saint Bridget of Sweden.

Our main results were these.

  • The stronghold was built c. 1250-75, long before Bridget’s day.
  • It was never used much, being kept in shape as a refuge but rarely inhabited.
  • It sits on a Mesolithic settlement site coeval with the famous Motala sites nearby.

Get the report from Archive.org!


Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

6 thoughts on “Excavation Report from Birgittas udde 2016”

  1. Good one, Martin. It’s unfortunate that many of the interesting bits were in Swedish, which puts a monolingual like myself at a bit of a disadvantage, but it was good to read a full report on the dig. I’d love to see you get back into the field, although I understand the difficulties involved in dealing with academia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I hope to get back into the field next spring on a contract dig for a big railway project that’s been brewing for 20 years. That’s of course very different from my research digs over the years.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent – you should be investigating relatively untouched land then. Looking for old remains without having to plough through a lot of overlying modern stuff. Except for the farm land, of course, but even there the land would have only been recently worked to plough depth. Sounds like a fun dig with the chance of coming up with some unexpected information. I can’t wait to see your blog posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Overlying modern stuff is rarely an issue outside urban areas. As for the ploughsoil, though today’s ploughs do go deeper than previous ones, much of Sweden’s productive land has been farmed for hundreds or thousands of years. The main change in recent times is improved and covered drainage. The earlier mosaic landscape with a lot of small wetlands became homogenised 150 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

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