With its extremely late urbanisation, Sweden doesn’t have much of an archaeological record compared to Italy or China or Peru. But we keep really good track of the stuff we have: active organised surveying for ancient monuments has been going on for over 70 years, aided by the fact that Sweden has no trespassing laws and affords land owners no ownership to archaeological remains.
Sweden’s National Heritage Board has been placing its sites and monuments register on-line gradually over a period of years. At first, it was only accessible to professionals, offering a crappy map and working only under Internet Explorer (i.e. only under Windows). Then a public search facility was added, without any map. And today a completely new site has been launched, available to anyone: with a really sweet map and working under other browsers such as Firefox, that is, under other operating systems such as Linux! Professionals who log in get the full database, everybody else on the net can access one where sensitive sites (e.g. hoards) have been stripped out.
I’m proud to say that my buddies and Aard regulars LL of Arkland and Johan of Arkeologiforum are on the team behind this kickass new search facility. Dear Reader, even if you’re not in Sweden, take a look at the site and demand that your country’s Heritage Board give you something similar ASAP! You see, this is the way to do it.
(Now, LL and Johan, if I could only wish for one thing — could you guys finally get rid of the senseless requirement to add “:1″ to an Raä number when you search for it? Pretty please? Just let me type “Grötlingbo 54″. Thank you.)