Newish Finds from Old Uppsala

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The view from my second investigation area. The great barrows were erected about AD 600.

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday metal-detecting for my buddy John Ljungkvist on some of the most storied soil in Sweden: Old Uppsala. Archaeology and early historical sources unanimously point this village out as one of the Lake Mälaren region’s most important power centres from shortly before AD 600 until about 1250, when it was superseded by the nearby town of (New) Uppsala. My Östergötland project in 2004-2009 largely aimed at searching for that province’s unknown equivalent.

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The view from my first investigation area. Old Uppsala church is the re-purposed remains of a larger 12th century cathedral. The green mound to the right is one of the platforms that supported the royal mead halls during the Viking Period.

John put me to work in two fields: one immediately below the monumental house platforms north of the church, one in a ploughed-out part of the famous barrow cemetery south of the church. Finds were plentiful but mostly not very old. I found copper coins from 1718 and 1721, another illegible one most likely from about 1700, and at the very end of the fieldwork, a mount from the butt-end of a 14th century table knife. I look forward to returning!

Finds pics below the fold.

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The Late Medieval knife-butt mount that I found at Old Uppsala.

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A Late Medieval knife-butt mount found by my team at Sättuna in Kaga psh, Östergötland, in 2006.

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This coin was struck in 1718, the year when Carolus XII was killed in Norway, ending Sweden’s era of international significance and militaristic insanity.

Comments

  1. #1 kevin
    September 3, 2010

    That is so stinking cool! I can only imagine what it’s like to poke around there!

  2. #2 Martin R
    September 3, 2010

    Stinking cool, indeed. You don’t know how right you are, Kev! While I was metal-detecting, a young farmer came out with a tank truck and sprayed the field with liquid manure. Me and my gear smelled like a pig sty all the way home.

  3. #3 Martin S
    September 3, 2010

    Want some help from Gothenburg?

  4. #4 Martin R
    September 3, 2010

    That is perfectly possible!

  5. #5 Richard D
    September 3, 2010

    These are great.

    Before I ended up as a palaeolithic man I really loved the Anglo Saxon period of Britain. The name Uppsala is very much linked in my mind with that period and in particular with Sutton Hoo. Clearly a very important place in that period.

  6. #6 Håkan
    September 4, 2010

    Pay me and i will deliver;-)

  7. #7 fosco
    September 11, 2010

    Ciao well feel free to contact me ..I will do it for free (metaldetecting)-I do have my own one metal and a lot a lot of experience and knowledge of coins..keep in touch if you..ciao