A day in the life

By Shelling

After the dig

Students from the archeological class has spent a fortnight on continuous diggings at a sight from the iron age at about 400 A.D. It's their third year of excavating one of the houses of a chieftains village close to where I live. 
Life here then was very different, of course. Öland had a population of about the same number of people as today but the island was probably divided between many chiefs, each controlling a small or larger piece of the island. There was a lot of fighting going on among the chiefs to maintain, lose or gain power. The society was not isolated at all, they traded with the countries around the baltic and some of the young men travelled to Rome, to join the roman army. Many coins from that time has been found here and a year or two meant a lot of wealth for their families.

The place near me was then one of the biggest farms on the island but this is the first time excavations has taken place. The first year they had chosen a house right outside the chieftains longhouse, that looked interesting, they wanted to find out what it was used for. They found some pottery and grindstones and important details that tells them how it was built. But, the house proved much bigger than it looked. The diggings continued last year and the found lots and lots of pottery and a grinding stone for making flour and a couple of stalls for animals. They still didn't find the outer wall so the diggings continued this year but the house is really long and they didn't find it this year either but the point of the diggings is to learn more about daily life at the farm. This house was most certainly the kitchen and slaughterhouse combined, a place for making food, maybe for the big gatherings in the major hall.

After the digging finished for this year they have to restore the area, cover the diggings and remove all signs of activities. They left the grinding stone, which is the sloping rock in the middle and the grinder itself, the round stone on top and kept the big slab of limestone in front of it in place. They have also planted nice plants around it, decorating it almost like a grave. Quite respectfully done, I thought. Maybe they will continue next year if they can raise some fundings.

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