The Sandby borg massacre

Life and death in a 5th-century ringfort It is not unusual for archaeologists to find caches of artefacts stashed in the ground, but their owners rarely remain nearby. Excavations on the island of Öland are revealing traces of a ringfort’s violent end. Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay, Helena Victor, and Clara Alfsdotter explain what a community’s demise can […]


NEWS: Vasa ship look-alike found in Swedish waters

Underwater archaeologists have discovered a historic vessel off the coast of southern Sweden which is similar in construction to the famous Vasa, the ornate 17th-century warship on display in a dedicated museum in Stockholm. Around 45m in length with 68-70 cannons, experts from the Sjöhistoriska Museet believe the ship is the Blekinge, which was built […]

A Fragrant Grave Featured Grave

A Fragrant Grave: Revealing the mummified remains of a 17th-century bishop

In life, Bishop Peder Winstrup was a renowned theologian, chaplain to the king, and founding father of Lund University. In death, he has proved no less remarkable. Palaeoecologist Per Lagerås reveals the secrets the bishop took to his grave. Bishop Peder Winstrup died in December 1679, aged 74, and was buried beneath Lund Cathedral. When, in 2014, it was decided […]

Book Review: Rock Art and Seascapes in Uppland

Rock Art and Seascapes in Uppland Johan Ling Oxbow Books, £20.00 ISBN 978-1842175132 Sweden boasts a stunning array of Early Bronze Age artwork, with rocky outcrops crammed with images of boats, people, and animals (CWA 54). In this slender new volume, Johan Ling provides a detailed study of the imagery on around 80 rock panels […]


Unpicking ancient art

New research using computer technology to unpick overlapping layers of rock art has shed light on how the ideas and interests of prehistoric communities changed. Between c.4500-3000 BC, early artists at Nämforsen in Sweden, and Zalavruga in Russia, tended to carve elks in silhouette, Cambridge University archaeologist Mark Sapwell said. But by 2000 BC these […]


Fishing first

Södertörn University archaeologists have found 9,000-year-old fishing traps in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Sweden, making them the oldest yet discovered anywhere in the world. The team say this evidence shows that people were fishing in fixed spots long before the development of permanent agricultural settlements in the region. This article is an […]


Book Review: Settlement and Lordship in Viking and Early Medieval Scandinavia

Bjørn Poulsen and Søren Michael Sinbaek (eds.) Brepols, £79.00 ISBN 978-2503531311 Recent advances in settlement archaeology have uncovered a treasure trove of new information about social power in Early Medieval Scandinavia, and this comprehensive work brings together 17 papers, ranging from landholding and the changing influence of royal and Church authorities, to insights into all levels […]


Viking silver – Gotland, Sweden

Archaeologists have unearthed several thousand silver objects, buried 1,000 years ago in Gotland, Sweden. This is the second substantial hoard to have been found at the site: in 1838, almost 6,000 coins were found in the same field. Museum of Gotland archaeologists Jonas Paulsson and Per Widerström made the discovery on the final day of […]


Sweden: A plague on all your houses

Excavation of a Swedish plague pit has revealed how a small village responded to an invisible killer. Caroline Ahlström Arcini pieces together an archaeology of crisis.