This entry was first published over the cell-phone network on my old site, without pix, on Wednesday 11 April.
This has been a stressful but fun day: I have spent most of it talking to the mainstream media. You see, I forgot to tell you yesterday that somehow regional radio had heard of the foil-figure model find I blogged about Monday, and a lady came out to site and interviewed me and Niklas. This morning it was a big radio news story. And so the other Östergötland media jumped onto the bandwagon: two TV stations and one newspaper hunted us down to look at the find, one newspaper interviewed me over the phone, and a national newspaper called to ask for a photograph of the model.
Weeks ago I arranged with the kids’ science show Hjärnkontoret on national TV to join us in the field. They arrived this morning at our site in Östra Husby, right after we had started to find cool things. So I spent most of the morning with them while my phone kept buzzing from the news media’s attempts to get hold of me.
But the crew got a lot of work done. I did some solitary metal detecting at one site in Östra Husby last spring, finding two nice brooches, but not enough to suggest any central function. This morning we went to another promising site in that parish, one where Klas-Göran Selinge has pointed out some highly suggestive cemetery topography along with a heavy place-name. And Tim Olsson immediately found a fine piece of Late Roman Period jewellery (3rd/4th century), while Svante Tibell picked up a gilded oval decorative strap mount of a type I don’t recognise but which has some similarities with 6th/7th century finds. Both appear to have been deposited in what was at the time an inlet of the sea, so we can’t say we have any leads on where the Late 1st Millennium manor stood.
The rest of the finds are two bits of knapped flint, a butt-fitting from a High Medieval table knife, two 17th century coins and a number of less easily identified bits & bobs. All in 21 person-hours.
After a greasy lunch we went to the Solberga gravel pit in Askeby parish, find spot of a cremated 7th century boat grave with very fine furnishings. And 13 person-hours of metal detecting garnered us only one find of interesting date: a great big slag disc from the bottom of a lo-tech iron-smelting furnace. Patrik Johansson found it sitting on a pile of clearance stones at the edge of a field.
Comments on the oval strap fitting are most welcome! It measures 33 by 22 mm. I really hope it’s 6th century, ’cause that’s what I said on camera to kiddie TV.