Gotland, an island situated in the middle of the Baltic Sea, sized some 170 km North to South, and 50 km from East to West, has a tremendously rich heritage, particularly when it comes to Viking Age and Early Middle Ages. Being a focal point in the Baltic Sea, with extensive contacts both East and West, gave the island and its inhabitants a unique position as a trading centre.
No place in Scandinavia has such a huge amount of Viking objects found during the last 200 years, and no area has seen so many silver hoards as Gotland. More then 700 hundred hoards, containing in all more then 150 000 silver coins from the Arabic world, England, Germany and other countries, provide clear evidence of the importance of the island in the Viking Age.
But the history of Gotland goes of course far back in time, where the earliest settlers come to the island about 8000 years ago. Graves from stone age, imposing bronze age cairns and ship settings, as well as hundreds of house remains from Iron age, point to an island with an immense heritage.
Besides being a fascinating cultural and natural site, it is one of the most interesting summer holiday places in Scandinavia with a tremendous lot of interesting activities to take part in, and weekends with seaside activities. One of the most fascinating festivals take place the second week in August - called the Medieval week, when the whole of Visby is transformed into Medieval time.
Being an archaeologist on this island is a privilege, and there is a chance for everyone to be a part of the scientific research of the history of the island. Gotland Archaeological Field school has, since 1998, been devoted to research the history of the island's Viking Age, and Early Middle Ages through extensive archaeological excavations and research programmes. The field courses are linked to different universities by both research projects and lectures.
Summer 2015, we continue the excavation at one of the best preserved Viking Age harbour sites on Gotland, dated from around AD 700 to around AD 1000, being a part of a 3 years research project. You can follow the ongoing excavation at our Facebook page (see below). For further information about the field school, or about coming year’s excavation, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Welcome to Gotland, and a most important and fascinating research project!
Associate Professor Dan Carlsson, RPA
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