Category Archives: Linköping

Black hawk up & The Swedish Air Force Museum in Linköping

As we said good bye to a colleague that goes into retirement we visited the The Swedish Air Force Museum, but before that my colleague got to get a flight in the SK60 (a jet plane) we got a trip in Helcopter 16 or better known as Black hawk. Really really cool 🙂

I can also strongly recommend Flygvapenmuseum The Swedish Air Force Museum in Linkoping. Here are almost all planes that can be connected to Swedish air force as well as an exhibit on the cold war, where Swedens military, Swedish politics and domestic issues are connected – really good and then an exhibt or a crypt of a a Swedish DC3 that was shot down in the Baltic Sea in the 50’s and the story of the political game behind the story – this is stuff for a Hollywood picture – the plane was found a few years ago and lifted from the bottom of Sea. This museum is not only for air force or air plane buffs but everyone that wants to know more about the history of the cold war.

The pictures are divided into three groups: air force exhibit, cold war exhibit, DC3 exhibit.

Air force exhibit

Cold war exhibit

DC3 exhibit

Magnus Reuterdahl

Mesolithic Motala on film

At the city Motala on the eastern shore line of lake Vettern a big excavation that in part is still on- going that concerns the mesolithics. The excavations are being done by Riksantikvarieämbetet (the National Heritage Board) UV Öst (RAÄ UV Öst) (link in Swedish about the excavation) and by Stiftelsen Kulturmiljö (link in Swedish about the excavation).

The excavations concern at least one settlement and several different activity areas; production sites, graves etc, that are dated to ca 6000-4000 BC. There are also remains of a medieval farmstead, dated to ca 1200-1300 AD.

There are several things that are special about this site among them the exceptional preservation environment, UV has made this film, with English subtitles, that allows you to find out more about this exiting place and the finds that has been made.

The film is produced by Martin Wanngård at BringitoLife during 2010 and 2011 and is 18 minutes long and is part of RAÄ UV Öst’s intermediary of the results.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Middle Ages seminar at Östergötland County Museum

Follow on Twitter #medsem12

Today I’ll attend a seminar on current research and projects concerning the Middle ages in Sweden åt Östergötland County museum, Linköping, Sweden. The seminars are being held by contract-archaeologist as well as resrearchers.

Among the seminars are:

Krokeks Cloister – the franciscan forest convent by Marie Ohlsen, Östergötland museum.

Devestation or restructring – the Linköping are during the Iron Age and Middle Ages by Karin Lindeblad & Maria Petersson, the National heritage board UV öst (east)

Ecological & social connections associated with the black death by Per Lagerås, the National heritage board UV syd (south)

Slaves, tradesfolk and common people – strangers during the middle ages and how we find them by Mats Roslund, archaeologist, Lund University.

To work with a gender perspective on historic landscapes by Elisabeth Gräslund berg, geographer, Stockholm University.

Hemvidakulla – a deserted farmstead in Ydre by Hans Andersson, professor emeritus historical archaeology, Lund University

Musical meetings – music during the Middle Ages by Lars Jonsson, music producer and artistic director, NoMeMus.

Etc etc.

This post will be updated during the day.

Magnus Reuterdahl

At home again, at least for a while.

Though I will miss working at Östergötland County museum, and I hope that I might return for more work, it is always good to be home.

Over the last weeks I’ve been around Linköping and watching some scenic spots. Linköping is one of five medieval towns in the County and has been the centre of the church since at least the 12th century in Östergötland.

Vreta cloister was founded in 1128 (just a few km west of Linköping, see this post) and the oldest parts of the dome is from the 12th century. St Lars (Laurentii) is the other medieval church within the city limits.

St Lars
St Lars

While the medieval church has been destroyed and replaced one can still visit the foundations of the medieval church, it has been excavated and preserved under the floor of the church.

Underneath the floor one can see the walls and plan of the Romanesque church as well as a lot of the fins that have mead during the excavations here.

A grave underneath the medieval church.

Among the interesting finds are two medieval coffins made of tree that has been preserved.


At plain sight is the church tower that in part, the first three floors, is medieval.

If you have the chance to visit the crypt aka the foundations of the medieval church it is a real treat.

The medieval part of the tower goes up just below the tower hatches.

The stairs up to the first floor of the tower.

On the wall one can see the where the old roof of the church has been.

The stairs to the third floor.

At the church and in the cemetery several sepulchral monuments called Eskilstuna kistor (cists) has been found. These cists are normally dated to the 11th century and are often decorated with ornaments that resembles the Viking Age and those found carved on Stave churches (more info here), if there is any inscriptions on them they are normally made with runes. This gives a strong indication that there has been an even older church before the Romanesque one, possibly a stave church.

One of sepulchral monument found in St Lars.

This one is on display on the ground floor in the tower.

There is yet more to come from Linköping

Best wishes

Magnus Reuterdahl

The dig is finished, it’s been dug!

Then this excavation is over all that’s left is a few days of working with the finds, in my case produce a small osteologic comment on the bones found. There is a kind of sadness when one the last phases of a dig, as you excavate you kind of get familiar with landscape that you create. In this case the two houses and the cellar and you kind of desiccate it to a level where you where everything’s at. And at the final days when you bring in an excavator and deep digs it all to be sure that there are no older structures underneath, the reality that one has lived in for a few weeks or so disappears.

Did we find anything older? Perhaps! We found a hearth that might be prehistoric – but we’ll have to wait for the 14c analysis. We also found a well underneath one of the houses; it is ca 3 x 3 meter large. We’ve dug about three meters in depth as well though we didn’t get to the bottom of it, the arm of the excavator wasn’t long enough. The well was filled with old building materials and such and had been so since before the house was built, so it’s older but probably not prehistoric.

The well


To sign of this particular dig I leave you all with a few finds

A horse hoof found within one of the houses!

A bone from a frog, always fun to find small bones as well.

A tool of some sorts, or rather a part of a tool, perhaps a stylus. The material is yet uncertain but it might be made of tortoise shell.

Another tool, made out of antler.

Though the dig is done I’ve still got a few days of work in Linköping and I’ve got plenty of pictures so there will be a few more posts from or about Linköping.

Magnus Reuterdahl

The excavation has been carried out by Östergötlands County museum.

A report from Linköping part 4

The sun has returned and makes us break sweat in the heat as the excavation continues. We’re in a bit of a hurry at moment, as often happens on exploration digs, so its full speed ahead. At the moment we’re digging our way through a floor to find the bottom layer and through this we hope to see what the different areas of the structures been used for, by studies of the finds and where they’ve been found.

Here we are four archaeologists working on a line, all four of us doing hard archaeology; Christer, Hanna, me and Lena.

Some recent finds;

A knife from the 16th or 17th century.



A mussel shell

This bone is part of the maxilla belonging to a dog. Most bones we find on this dig belongs to cattle, sheep or goat, pigs and can be categorized as leftovers. On occasion we’ve found bones like this one that doesn’t belong to that group.


A vertebrae from a cod shows that fish has been on the menu as well.

In a big posthole I’ve been excavating for a few days we’ve found the remains of a large post, ca 3 x 3 dm that has been stuck ca a meter down the earth. In the filling we’ve found several stones from older construction such as this.


The posthole is ca 3 meters x 1 meter large and ca one meter deep. We believe that the post has been the main post in this building and that there has been smaller post along the walls that has hold a roof of some sort over the structure. The brown stuff at the bottom is the remains of the post, we’ve secured a large portion of it for possible analysis but it is quite rotten and very frail.

I’ll summarize this week on Saturday. 


Magnus Reuterdahl

The excavation is being carried out by Östergötland County museum.

Summary week one; Linköping


As the weekend comes to an end we have done 7 days of archaeology in the Konserthusparken, Linköping (Me and Christer did two days last week as well). The excavation is going forward and some results are beginning to show.

In the southern part of the shaft we have identified a portion of a rather large wall, possibly of medieval origin, that is connected to a cellar found in the 60’s. We are not sure of the dating but there are several factors that points us in that direction; the cellar that originally was dug in the 60’s was then dated to the late middle ages, though the bases of that dating is not entirely clear, the masonry seems to be medieval though the wall is quite destroyed so it is difficult to say for sure, to this we can ad one find; a small piece of stone with a relief of a lion or something similar (see pic below) that probably is medieval, the context of the find is not entirely clear.

One of the details in the wall that fives it a medieval feel is a trench seen in the picture below.



A difficulty in the southern part of the shaft has been to identify the different layers partly due to the fact that there seems to be two separate demolition layers and several disturbances such as pits for dumping trash such as broken pots, glasses etc.


Archaeologists Lena and Mats excavating two pits.

At the end of the week we started on the southern part of the shaft. A working hypothesis is that these structures are part of at least two buildings that were more or less temporary. There seems to several remains after different kinds of stoves/hearths. One of these has been cleared, as we did this we could see that it is probably two hearths we common delimitation, here we are currently looking for the northern outer wall of this building.


A lot has been done but there’s still a lot do, next week we will probably concentrate on the northern structures and try to define limitations of the structures and the buildings as well as try to determine their individual usage.


Currently we are four archaeologist working on this site and on occasion other archaeologists from the museum comes around and help out for a day or two.


Here are the whole group; from the left Christer, Hanna, me and Lena.

At this dig this slogan has been our defining theme:

In translation; “Stone Age? No thanks” Now wouldn’t that make a great T-shirt?

The excavation is being carried out by Östergötlands County museum.


Magnus Reuterdahl

Good news

I’m eastbound for three week as I will participate in an excavation in Linköping for Östergötland (The eastern part of Götaland) County museum. The excavation concerns structures, parts of walls etc, of one or more buildings from the Middle Ages.

More news on this as I get them.

Magnus Reuterdahl

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