Tag Archives: Öland

Osteo-doctoral day for Ylva Telldahl

Ylva Telldahl will do her doctoral defence for her thesis on December 19 at Stockholm University föreläsningssalen, Botaniska institutionen, Lilla Frescativägen 5 at 13:00.

Her thesis is called: Working animals and skeletal lesions. Paleopathology of cattle and horse in Iron Age and medieval Öland, Sweden.

Ylva has concentrated on the relationship between animal husbandry practices and the associated pathological conditions using methods such as osteometric analysis, conventional radiographic and bone mineral study, as well as incorporated molecular analysis.

The material used was excavated (1964-1974) at Eketorp ringfort on Öland. The fort was used during the Iron Age and early Middle Ages, ca 300–1300 AD and from the Skedemosse wetland site that was excavated in the early 60’s.  This site is a ritual site where weapons, animals, coins and other valuables was offered to the gods, 200-500 AD.

Read the full abstract here.


Magnus Reuterdahl

Field season 2011 is out & done

That was the last of the field season 2011, I’ve had a good season in Kalmar County and lately in Blekinge County. The Blekinge E22 excavations are really interesting and the results are fantastic – Mesolithic huts, settlements, work sites and amazing grave finds from the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and early Iron Age. It’ll be very interesting to see the reports in a few years as well possible exhibitions at Blekinge County museum in the future. There’s also a pretty hefty chance that the excavations aren’t really done and that there’s more to come next year.

I have a week off until I start my new job as an antiquarian (archaeologist) officer of the county administration in Härnösand, Västernorrland County. It’ll be interesting to get to know a new town and new colleagues but before that I’ll do another tour of southern Sweden – I’ll check in at the excavations of Jönköping castle in Jönköping, make two short stops in Blekinge, a short stop in Kalmar and on Öland the coming week. Then it’s off to Härnösand for a few days followed by a week in Italy where I’ll join the European wine bloggers conference in Franciacorta, I blog on wine as well – though in Swedish at Aqua Vitae.

I’ll write some words om my Smalandic journey next week as well as on Italy the coming weeks.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Day of Archaeology in Kalmar, Sweden. Arkeologidagen 2011 i Kalmar

Texten följer på svenska.

A few weeks ago I joined up with the web project Day of Archaeology 2011, check up the ca 400 blog posts on archaeology here. In Sweden we’ve have an annual Day of Archaeology irl where museums and institutions make different arrangements.

Kalmar County Museum is giving a mini seminar– if you know Swedish and is in the neighborhood you can come listen to me as I tell about the graves of Övra Vannborga. Two graves found under the remains of a late Iron Age settlement, one dated to early Iron Age, preroman time, and the other to the Mesolithic times. The dig is old, 1989-1991, but the graves are older 🙂 – I’ll talk about the excavation, the finds, the graves and on what information the bones has to give.

My colleague Ulrika Söderström will give a talk about an excavation made earlier this summer of an old glassworks in Målerås.

At Kalmar County Museum, 13.00-15.00, august 28th

Arkeologidagen 2011 Kalmar

På söndag den 28 augusti är du välkommen till Kalmar läns museum. Här kan du få höra undertecknad prata om Ölands äldsta kvinna och andra fynd från Övra Vannborga. En mindre del av boplatsen Övra Vannborga undersöktes 1989-1991. Boplatslämningarna är daterade till perioden 600-800 e Kr. Boplatslämningarna överlagrade dock två äldre gravar, den ena från förromersk järnålder och den andra från mesolitikum, daterad till ca 7000 f Kr cal C14. Jag kommer prata lite om platsen som sådan och om gravarna per se och vilken information benen kan ge.

Min kollega Ulrika Söderström kommer att hålla ett föredrag om de arkeologiska undersökningarna vid Målerås glasbruk som utfördes tidigare i somras.

Mer information finns på Kalmar läns museums hemsida (Såg just att informationen inte kommit upp än – men den kommer upp inom kort)

28 augusti, klockan 1300-1500, plats Kalmar läns museum

Magnus Reuterdahl

Pictures from Öland

During weekends past I’ve taking the car for a few tours around Öland. Here are few pictures on a few of the great cultural heritage sites just waiting for visits.

Borgholm castle ruin, just south of Borgholm.

 At the southern tip of the island is the lighthouse Långe Jan (Tall Jan)


This grave field (raa 24:1) is situated in Segerstad parish its, it’s rich in combinations of different grave forms, mounds of different size and shape, stones that mark graves etc. These grave fields are normallt dated to the Iron Age though some individual graves might be older.


Rune stone Öland 18 (Öl 18). The inscription translated to English reads Ingjaldr and Nefr and Sveinn, they raised (the stone) in memory of Hróðmarr, their father.


Ancient fort Triberga. There is an ongoing discussion how these forts has been used, as a refuge in trouble times or something else. Most of them were build during the Iron Age though has also been used during the middle ages. In some there are remains of houses and in some burials have been found.


Finally a wind mill, a common site on the island. I’ll be back with more in coming posts.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Hot diggity dang!!!

Last week we whilst doing an archaeological investigation, stage II, at Öland we found this stone cist. It was about time we came back with some real results and this one is a beaut’. It wasn’t visible above ground but as you can see it is more or less undamaged just below the plow depth.

It is probably from to early Iron Age and as it’s only about 1,50 m long it might be a child burial. More info and pics are available at Kalmar County museum blog (in Swedish).

Magnus Reuterdahl

In search for runes

Been writing a few reports lately, nothing fancy as the results were more or less =0, e.g. no finds worth mentioning. While doing so I’ve needed to stop by the archives a few times and as soon you’ll open one of those dusty bins you’ll find something fun –that has nothing to do with your current affairs. This time I stumbled on a reference of a runic carving in wood.

According to the note it should be found at Eriksörestugan aka Kalgrenstugan – a wooden house in Eriksöra at Öland. Four runes are mentioned: i t a f, where the last one is facing the wrong direction. The house is a Ryggåsstuga, a one storey wooden house without inner ceilings. This type of house was common amongst the peasants up until at least the end of the 18th century.

Didn’t find much or rather nothing regarding this on the web or in my books. What I did find out is that house was restored in the 1930’s, the note regarding the inscription wasn’t dated but might have been older than that, so it’s possible the inscription is no more. Except from this I’ve found two other inscriptions on Ryggåsstugor, both in Älvdalen, Dalarna County, D Rv314 and D Rv305 dated to 1828 and 1830-1855. Though I don’t know what those inscriptions says.

Well if you can’t find it on-line you’ll have to go on tour – Eriksöre here I come 🙂  – I’ll update when I get home!

I found the house and according to the note the inscription should be  on the short side wall next to the window.

…but I’m sorry to say I couldn’t find any runes 😦 Then again I couldn’t come home runeless so I took a little drive to Karlevi stenen – a nearby runestone. A quite aspecial one at that, the inscription is written in a verse called Drottkvätt and there are also a few latin letters on the side. I’ll get back to you regarding the text in a few days.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Two ancient forts of Öland

Yesterday we took a tour on the island Öland just east of Kalmar. There are several ancient forts, many of the dates to ca 400-550 BC though some of the has been used later on as well. We visited the fort Ismantorps borg that is speciall in the way that a lot house grounds are visable.

We also visited Sandby borg. There are diffrences, Sanbyborg ius situated by the ocean and there are no visable remains of houses. But the form is more or less the same – it’s a round structure on flat land.


Magnus Reuterdahl






On route to Öland

Today I’ll head for the island Öland on Sweden’s southeast coast, there’s some really cool ancient monuments to see if you’re ever nearby. I’ll upload a few pictures later today – or you can catch them on twitter; @reuterdahl, live.

By the way now I got my tickets to Sweden rock – a hard rock festival in Sweden – and you could say it’s a bit like music archaeology; all the old dinosaurs like Ozzy, Judas Priest, Hawkwind, Whitesnake, Fläsket brinner etc etc… well I better bite my tongue or hold your horses there are some new bands as well.

Perhaps not the best of songs, and I don’t think they’ll play Sweden rock, but it’s a fun anthem that suits this post 🙂

Magnus Reuterdahl

Urminne nr 7 2008

A new issue of Urminne (7/2008) is available, Urminne is a periodical concerning prehistoric and medieval issues in the Swedish provinces Småland, Öland and Östergötland. All articles are written in Swedish and it is possible to order it from Jonkoping County museum.


In this issue me and colleague; Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay, have an article; Tre oväntade fynd från Ottenby Kungsgård, Öland (Three unexpected finds at Ottenby Kungsgård).

Abstract: This paper presents three somewhat unexpected finds made in connection to the excavation in 2004 of a Pitted Ware site (Neolithic) at Ottenby Royal Manor on the southernmost part of Öland, Sweden. The first find to be treated here was identified during the excavation, and consists of an Early Medieval glass bead of Hungarian origin, of a type not previously documented from the Scandinavian area. The other two finds were identified during the osteological analysis; in the material from the 2004 excavation a Gannet (Morus bassanus, formerly known as Sula bassana) was identified, being the first of this species from a prehistoric context on Öland and the forth find from the large islands in the Baltic Sea altogether. Secondly whilst analysing bones from the 1991 excavation at the site a previously unidentified human bone was identified.

Magnus Reuterdahl

The other articles are (sorry I haven’t translated ´em);

– Jörgen Gustafsson: “Paradis i inland”
– Magnus Reuterdahl & Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay: “Tre oväntade fynd från Ottenby Kungsgård, Öland”
– Michael Dahlin: “Låt gravarna berätta! Några nygamla bronsåldersgravar i södra Tjust”
– Alexandra Nylén & Åsa Jönsson: “Gripeberg. En fornborg i Smålands inland”
– Christina Helander: “Att tända den livsgnista som släckts. En tolkning av två stensättningar i Bäckseda”
– Erika Räf: “Varifrån kom järnet? Om framställning av blästjärn i Östergötland under förhistorien”
– Mikael Nordström: “Död mans dörr och järnåldersdösens gåta”
– Anna Kloo Andersson: “Hälsa och ohälsa under medeltid och efterreformatorisk tid i södra Vätterbygden. Med utgångspunkt från skeletten i Barnarps kyrka”
– Rickard Wennerberg: “Skogens svarta guld. Undersökning av kolframställningsplatser i Nifsarp utanför Eksjö”
– Leif Häggström: Om viljan att kommunicera resultat. En analys av olika aktörers publiceringsfrekvens från en småländsk horisont”

Excavation at Ottenby Kungsgård 2004

Here are a few pictures from the excavation at Ottenby Kungsgård (the royal manor Ottenby) 2004 and of a few of the finds.

These finds are dated to the Pitted ware culture, a late neolithic hunter-gatherer culture in Scandinavia, dated to ca 3200 BC- ca 2300 BC. Most sites are found along the coasts of Svealand, Götaland, Åland, north-eastern Denmark and southern Norway. The culture has been named after the ornamentation of its pottery.

The report on the excavation is available as an pdf-file here (in Swedish).

A few pictures of the excavtaion area. As you can see the weather was great, at least some of the days.


In this picture you can see the main area of the 2004 excavtions.

  This area is just south of the previous, here we dug a number of test pits in an attempt to locate the outer boundaries of the settlement.


This picture is taken from the south and shows the main excavation area, in the background are the stables belonging to the royal manor of Ottenby.

A few pictures of pitted ware pottery chards



A few pictures of seal bones

A seal femur


A seal tooth

Seal tooth

A seal mandible


Arcaeology is much more than just digging

Cows can be something of a nuisance as they are very curious.
 On the other hand sometimes one has to dig deep do to find the information one seeks, in this case ca 1,5 meter.
And at the end of the day the archaeologist picks his tools up and goes home.

Magnus Reuterdahl

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