War time archaeology in Jönköping

Jönköping County museum has started a blog (in Swedish), that seems promising. There are several interesting projects that are on the go in Jönköping at the moment. One is the search for a battle field site at Dumme mosse. A battle held in 1567 where as many as 2000 man battled it out, for the Swedes it was a futile battle, an army of farmers against the Danish professionals. The mission for the swedes were to delay the Danes enough to evacuate and burn Jönköping city and Jönköping castle. Archaeologists in Jonkoping now believes they identified the site – and this year they are going out to further establish this… read more about on the blog (Google translate or nicetranslator.com should do the the trick).

Another exiting project concerns Jonkoping castle. It was situated just south of lake Vettern, on the north west shore of lake Munksjön. At the site was originally a Franciscan monastery built in the late 13th century. In 1544 king Gustav Vasa decided that a castle should be build on the site, an used the monastery as a base. Jonkoping was burned down in 1567 and in 1612 both times during warfare with the Danes. During the early 17th century the castle was rebuilt and modernized but when Jonkoping no longer was a border city toward Denmark the functionality of the castle vanished. When it once again burnt down in 1737 it never was restored. During the 19th century the city needed to expand and so part for part the castle was demolished and in 1871 the last parts were gone… or so we all thought.

In 2010 archaeologists at the museum did a georadar survey of the area and found that lots of remains still were “standing” under ground. Later this year parts of the castle will be excavated and opened for the public eye.

The Danes did not always win as this picture is proof of – the battle at Friderichsödde painted by Erik Dahlberg (1625-1702) 1657. The battle at Friedrichsödde (aka Fredriks udde and today Fridericĭa) took place in the autumn of 1657. General Wrangel led the Swedish attack and won the battle. I can’t say I know much about it – the picture though shows a castle that is not unlike what Jonkoping castle might have looked like in the mid 17th century. Though the city itself was not that well protected.

I look forward to the excavtions and will follow the results!

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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