I’ve used my days in Jonkoping to catch up with friends and local archaeology. I’ve visited Jonkoping County Museums excavation of the medieval road Eriksgatan, the road the Swedish king or queen had and still have to travel after his or hers coronation to visit the different parts of his or hers kingdom. A tradition that goes back to the 13th century when the kingdom Sweden became a kingdom. In every province the king was to be accepted by the local government, the trip started at Mora stenar in Uppland went through Södermanland to the east shore of lake Vättern in Östergötland to Jönköping at the south end of lake Vättern, in Småland, then north through Västergötland, Närke and Västmanland and finally returning to Uppland. At Jonkoping County museum are some pictures of finds and info concerning the excavation (link in Swedish).
The open trench wherein a part of Eriksgatan is visable, it’s well preserved and one can see where the wagon wheels once traveled. If you’re in the neighborhood hurry by! I think it’s really cool to be able to experience a part of a road that is so intimately connected to Swedish history and the beginning of Sweden as a kingdom, a symbol for the nation then and now. Just imagine that one of those wheel tracks belonged to king Magnus Eriksson (1319-1364) in 1335, the first king we now for a certainty made the trip.
I also visited the excavation of Svenska maden (Swedish maden), where the national heritage board (RAA) is excavating. Svenska maden is an area in the outskirt of 17th century Jonkoping, where Swedish workers worked and lived (link in Swedish). At the time the area wasn’t very nice as this was wetlands, it was continually filled up with sand to make it habitable, though probably still wet, damp and probably not that nice. A few years back Tyska maden (German maden) was excavated with very interesting results. At Tyska maden german workers lived under similar conditions.
Tomorrow I plan to visit the island Visingsö, the whole island is a paradise for archeobuffs; large grave fields, medieval castle ruins, historic castle ruins, medieval churches etc. I’ve worked on several materials from the island during my studies at Stockholm University and as always when you study something you get sidetracked. These sidetracks are often left unfinished as they don’t fit the essay or the work you currently do. This time I aim to pick up such a sidetrack and see if can transform it into a small article. No matter what a few pictures are bound to find its way to this blog in a few days.