Earlier research and excavations

Research at Gotland Field School is devoted primarily to the Viking Period and Early Middle Ages on the island of Gotland, Sweden, and the focal point has been on harbour sites and farmsteads, some times also including graves.

Fröjel Discovery Programme

The most extensive excavations have taken place at the Viking Age harbour at Fröjel on the west coast of Gotland, some 35 km south of Visby, The area covers some 10 ha, and consists of a huge area of settlement, including many workshops. The settlement has been demarcated by a wooden wall of some kind. Covered by the settlement area are at least two cemeteries from around 600 to 1000 AD, where some 60 graves have been excavated. Just outside the settlement area excavations revealed an unknown late Viking Age Christian churchyard. The excavation at Fröjel was carried out between 1998 and 2005, and gave a tremendous rich amount of material. In all, there are some 38 000 objects registered. The huge amount of material is on its way being published. For detailed information of the Viking harbour site, please follow this link

Fynd fröjel

Some objects found at the Viking Age harbour at Fröjel

Viking settlement and land use


A post from Viking Age from the farm Klints in Eastern Gotland

From 2008 until 2012, the focus was shifted towards Viking Age farmstead and the question of land use. In 2008, we excavated a workshop dated to AD 1046 by dendrochronology, containing, among other things, a silver hoard consisting of English and German coin from around AD 1000.

During the following years, field courses have taken place at different farmsteads in Northern Gotland, yielding a huge amount of material related to the discussions of the Viking Age settlement and landscape on the island. At Klints, we excavated a Viking Age workshop, at Hultungs, a Viking Age-Medieval farmstead, at Långume, a Medieval farmstead.

In summer 2012, we excavated at the deserted farmstad at Fjöle in eastern Gotland. The farmstead is one of the best preserved prehistoric farmsteads in Scandinavia, dated to around AD 100-AD 1350/60, when it was abandoned. The excavation in 2012 dealt with house remains, both barns and a well preserved early Middle Ages manor. With the excavation 2012, we finished the field investigations about farms and houses, and enter into the publishing phase of the project.

Viking harbours

Summer 2013, we once again returned to the question of Viking Age trade and harbours, while returning to one of the most important sites on Gotland, called Paviken, situated along the western coast of the island, some 25 km south of Visby. This research project consists of three years field work (2013-2015), and a following year of analyses and publications.

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