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In Buttle there are traces from different eras

21 October 2013

Students Natalja Kashubaand Viktor Melander.

Archaeology in Uppsala has been reinforced at Campus Gotland. Here is a popular degree programme and many digging opportunities. The first joint summer course was held in Buttle central Gotland, where students had the chance to be involved and dig during the month of July.

Buttle Änge is situated forty kilometres south of Visby and interests archaeologists for several reasons: it is a boundary between two different districts and at a three-way intersection are two 8th century picture stones, one of which is the largest remaining at its original site.

Earlier excavations at the site have shown that there have been even more picture stones here, which formed an enormous monument.

“The placement of the picture stones indicates that this has been an important site, and through the excavation, we have be able to see that this has been the case far back in time,” said Alexander Andreeff who ran the summer course.

He wrote a thesis about the picture stones and wanted to explore the area around the stones. Colleague Helene Martinsson Wallin was also interested in the area and how it has evolved over time.

The focus of the excavation was a cairn of stones, which they believed hid an ancient burial site.  Rightly so, a so-called “edge chain” of stones, burned bones and objects were found that might have belonged to a young girl.

If this is the case it corroborates previous research at the site, where picture stones are located.

“There was not a burial site in the ordinary sense, but a site where human bones have been deposited, which has had a significance for rituals and representation,” says Alexander Andreeff.

Twenty-four students from different parts of Sweden participated in the excavations and they found numerous finds that now need to be dated and analysed.