Gotland Archaeological Field School has been offering field courses and working with students from all over the world for more than 20 years. During these years we have had a focus towards the Gotlandic Iron Age and mostly concerning harbours and trading places. The field school started with the investigations regarding Fröjel, a harbour and trading place on the west coast of Gotland. Excavations within the site were carried out during 10 years and created a new understanding around the meeting places, economic and social arenas that furthered and were a result of Gotland's part in the Viking Age trade.
Other locations such as Slite/Boge and Paviken were also harbours from this time period, though none can compare to the size of Fröjel. Paviken was the target for excavations during 2013-2015 and revealed a site with many similarities to Fröjel, but also a lot of differences in structure and function.
Another focus has been towards the Gotlandic farm. Gotland is an agrarian society since the Bronze Age and remains of the farms go as far back as the earliest Iron Age. The field school has been involved with investigating farms such as Fjäle, a farmstead with over 1,000 years of continuity. This continuity can still be seen today in the traces of the houses, grave fields, fields, stone walls and wells that belonged to the farm. Other farms from the Iron Age such as Tajnungs and File have also been excavated to further the research around the agrarian and social development on Gotland.
Currently, the field school is focused on investigating the Viking Age coastal activities in the south-east of Gotland. The 2018 and 2019 excavations of Gudings slott and the surrounding area in Eke Parish revealed a Viking Age grave field located at an ancient fortification as well as several nearby ritual structures.
This research has been a result of PhD Associate Professor Dan Carlsson who has more than 30 years of experience with Gotland's cultural heritage and archaeology. He is also the director of the field courses that are being held. You can visit his Academia page here and read more about his research focus and previous articles and books.
A Viking Age comb found at Fröjel.