Exceptional Migration Period Excavation Crowdfunding Now

Pompeii situations, where daily life at a settlement has suddenly and catastrophically been terminated and the site has then been abandoned, are extremely rare and extremely informative. As has recently been discovered, the Sandby fortified settlement on the island of Öland offers a Pompeii situation from about AD 500. The settlement has been attacked, its inhabitants killed or abducted, and then the aggressors just closed the doors and never came back, leaving their victims and all their considerable wealth still inside the houses.

So far the Kalmar County Museum's excavations at Sandby have been small and poorly funded. But now they've launched a Kickstarter campaign for continued fieldwork! Their goal is 400,000 kronor ($53,700, €43,200), and with a month to go they already have pledges for 79,000 kronor.

Dear Reader, I've backed the project. Please check out their page and consider doing so you too! I know these people, and I know they get things done.

Side note: the dome-shaped gilded silver mount above features an unusually early example of a motif I've written briefly about 20 years ago. It's the "warrior as beast": a helmeted human face whose lower face extends into the long toothy snout of a wolf. It's common on fine shield-handle terminals of the period 540-700.

More like this

I really enjoyed my work yesterday. The forenoon saw me in the stores of the Museum of National Antiquities looking through Otto Frödin's uncatalogued finds from the "SverkersgÃ¥rden" site near Alvastra monastery. Not only did I find all the elusive 1st Millennium stuff that's mentioned in the…
Fornvännen 2013:4 is now on-line on Open Access. Ulf Ragnesten on an ornate late-1st millenium BC bronze chain belt from a cremation grave in a Gothenburg suburb. Lars Larsson and Bengt Söderberg on recent excavations at the huge 1st millennium AD royal manor complex of Uppåkra, with in situ arson…
My part-time employer, the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, has been publishing books for over two centuries and rents a huge storage space for books in central Stockholm. Most of the stock isn't moving very fast. In fact, a lot of it hasn't moved at all since Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.…
Even at the most extreme edges of the flow of stuff out of the volcano Pompeii, at the far edge of the mud and ash that came from the volcano's explosion, the heat was sufficient to instantly kill everyone, even those inside their homes. And that is how the people at Pompeii, who's remains were…

Done. I'm slightly worried about this as a funding method for archaeology projects, but it sounds like a really interesting site!

I am a bit worried that the publicity may attract looters. Is the site an open area where interlopers will stand out?

By BirgerJohansson (not verified) on 02 Dec 2014 #permalink

Love the triskelions.

By Max Milhayser (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

I don't know many people who study the early middle ages, but I will see what I can do to pass this on. Max, good point about the triskelia!