Some links to Swedish archaeology

An answer to Paulo at ArchaeoJobs

updated 2009-09-16 – updated link to Umeå University

In a comment I was asked a question concerning the archaeological profession in Sweden and I thought it would be easy to find some summaries at Riksantikvarieämbetet (the National Heritage Board); there is some information to be found there; the National Heritage Board in English. As I scaned through some pages for info I decided to make a small summery of links concerning Swedish archeology, many of them are in Swedish though some are in English. At Svenska Arkeologiska samfundet (the Swedish archaeological association) (link in Swedish) is a good collection of links to museums, institutes, companies, databases, webpages etc. though some are missing.

Lets start with education. There are several university educations in archaeology and related subjects such as osteology and archaeological sciences in Sweden;

The Universities do carry out some field archaeology within research projects and field courses.

All excavating  archaeology, exploratory and research projects, is based on the Cultural Heritage act (link in Swedish) and decided by the County Administrative Boards in each county under the supervison of the the National Heritage board, a department under the Ministry of Culture.

Exploratory archaeology is in turn carried out by the National Heritage Board through UV (thier exploratory field unit) divided into several regional offices, by most county museums and some other museums, by a few foundations and some private companies.

When an area is to be exploited the County Administrative Board in each county determine if any archaeological efforts are necessary, if so the archaeological process has three legs;

  • An archaeological inquiry – to determine if there are any cultural or ancient remains that is affected of the indented enterprise, for example a road or a house
  • An archaeological investigation – to delimit a cultural or ancient remain and to provide a basis for what can be expected to be found in removing it, for example how many graves and what type of graves. The investigation shall be carried out in a way that the County Administrative board and that any company have a basis to calculate the cost of the same.
  • Excavation or removal of the remain and documentation of the ancient monument.

Thereafter they either contact a contractor directly to offer a job or several contractors by procurement (according to the Public Procurement act), depending on the size of the contract (in €). To be up for a bid an institution or company must have made an offer of interest to do archaeology in that county to the County Administrative board.

Each the County Administrative board have archaeologist who do the assessmenst and follw ups on the contracts.

Links to Swedish archaeological entrepreneurs;

Institutions and museums

  • UV  (link in Swedish)
  • County museums (link to them all there a quite a few of them)



  • RIO (link in Swedish)

Private companies

Other links

A pdf on the Swedish Exploratory archaeology though only available in Swedish

There is of course also a lot of nice Swedish archaeology blogs; an easy way is to follow most of them is via the forum arkeologiforum service Arkeologibloggar (via RSS), most are in Swedish but a few, among them mine, are written in English.

Now this is just quick summery and I’ve probably missed a whole lot of stuff so please send me mail or add a comment if anyone wants something to added or think I’ve missed out on something.

Best wishes

Magnus Reuterdahl

About Magnus Reuterdahl

I am an archaeologist/Osteologist from Sweden. My main intrest lays in north Euorpean archaeology in, preferbly the prehistory of the late iron age and the neolithic periods. I've also got a strong intrest for Chinese archaeology, especially the neolithc Yangshao culture. I also write about cultural heritage and cultural history. Mitt namn är Magnus Reuterdahl, jag är arkeolog och osteolog och arbetar företrädesvis i Sverige även om jag gjort ett par vändor till Kina. På den här bloggen skriver jag om mitt yrke, om fornlämningar, kulturarv och kulturhistoria m m. View all posts by Magnus Reuterdahl

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