Excavation 2018

The 2018 summer course is now full! We are no longer accepting applications for the coming season, but please do check back next season if you were unable to get a spot.


No place in Scandinavia has such a large amount of Viking objects found during the last 200 years, and no area has seen so many silver hoards as Gotland. More than 700 hundred hoards, containing in total more than 150,000 silver coins from the Arabic world, England, Germany and other countries, provide clear evidence of the importance of the island during the Viking Age.


This year we will be excavating a Viking Age site on the southeastern coast of Gotland in the parish of Eke. The landscape is littered with remains from the Bronze Age, Viking Age and Middle Ages including cairns, stone walls, grave mounds, ship settings, petroglyphs and a hill-fort. The location is several hundred meters from the sea, but in previous time periods the shoreline likely came right up to the site and the area could have been used as a harbor site or settlement. There have been few excavations in this area, but the landscape has clearly been in use for centuries, if not millennia. Our goal with this excavation is to formulate an understanding of the activities that took place in this certain location.


Please note that we are not part of a university and can therefore not provide academic credits. Read more about academic credits and transcripts in the syllabus below.


4 week field course

The field course is carried out over 4 weeks, from July 16th to August 10th. The course includes full board and transportation from the student residence at Hemse to the excavation site. Field methods that will be applied at the excavation are:

  • Basic excavation methods including troweling, following the layers detecting and separating features, and sifting.
  • Field drawings of plans, sections and features.
  • Field mapping through use of a total station, theodolite and GPS.
  • Find processing including cleaning, measuring, weighing, cataloging and photographing finds.
  • Metal detecting and mapping.
  • Photographing trenches and features.
  • Filling in basic archaeological documentation forms.


The course is set at a beginner’s level and after the completion of the course the student will be able to excavate a trench and possible features by following single contexts and stratigraphical layers together with documentation through measuring, drawing and writing.


The student will be able to distinguish from different archaeological finds and material, recognize changes in stratigraphy and clean, measure, weigh, photograph and catalog finds. The student will also learn how to write basic archaeological documentation and reports, read academic texts and discuss theories and methods in a group environment. The student should also be able to theorize around the features and find materials as well as contextualize the excavation to the surrounding landscape and the time period.

Cost for the 4 week field course


Registration fee

100 USD


2600 USD


2700 USD

The cost includes:


  • Full board at Hemse Folk High School with double room and three meals per day on all days including weekends.


  • Wifi is included together with laundry room and communal areas.


  • All lectures, seminars and 2 excursions.


  • Gear for excavating (except clothes, shoes and personal equipment).


  • Transport to and from the excavation site and the excursions

Field school director

Dan Carlsson, PhD, Associate Professor




Field supervisor

Lauren Bokor





Please see the project description for more information about this year's excavation area.

3D Scanning


Students will have an opportunity to watch and learn how to 3D scan finds from the excavation.

GIS and Archaeology


During the course lectures will be held in geographical information systems and how they are used in archaelogy.



For those with an artistic mind, there is oppurtunity to draw finds. Archaeological drawing is not like an ordinary sketch; you have to show the intricate parts of the artefact that a picture can't show.

Please see the syllabus for 2018.

Please see the FAQ sheet for additional information.

Gotland Archaeological Field School



Arendus Ltd


Färjeleden 5

SE 621 85 Visby