Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
First Week of 2021 Excavations at Aska: Three New Gold Foil Figures
At Aska near Vadstena in Östergötland is a massive earth platform on which geophys has revealed an almost 50-metre mead-hall. Six radiocarbon analyses date its lifetime to c. AD 660-950.
Last year we opened a few square metres over the mead hall’s northern wall line and one roof-support, just east of the building’s centre, and found 22 gold foil figures. Now we have opened 42 sqm in that same area and found 3 more.
We only have to find two more foil figures to beat Helgö. But that is just because my dear old thesis supervisor Jan Peder was forbidden by his boss to wet-screen the spoil heaps there after they became aware of the figures.
Other interesting new finds from the north trench are a third whale-bone gaming piece and a heavily worn slate whetstone of possibly identifiable geographic origin.
The structures in the north trench are coming out beautifully, particularly the outer wall ditch.
We have also opened 42 sqm across the building over the south wall line, with many well-preserved structures and finds of our first two beads, both opaque glass.
This is my eighth fieldwork campaign with students. As usual we are getting along beautifully on site and in communal living, a source of great pride to me. Even though our numbers are record high! It’s a big project even compared to typical contract excavations. (I’ve had to say no to more volunteers than I can remember.) Everyone is super nice, and it is particularly fun to have seven Łódź students with us. I’m picking up bits of Polish and they’re feeding us potato dumplings. The villagers at Aska are also extremely kind and supportive.
Read about last year’s fieldwork on the Aska platform mound: week 1, 2, 3, 4.