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Dankirke, Denmark

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Dankirke is an Iron Age site located in the southwestern part of Jutland, Denmark close to the North Sea. It was found as a result of the search for the Viking Age settlement of Ribe and was excavated during the years 1965-1970. The finds cover a period from around the 2nd century BC up until late 8th century AD; they represent a remarkable inventory especially from the late Roman and the Migration period. Dankirke is a small site and only partly excavated. Both the rich finds inventory and house plans from the period were remarkable when excavated in the 60s. The situation has changed since then and Dankirke has lost some of its importance. This loss of importance make it all the more essential to present the finds and documentation of the site, since it has never been fully published.

So far only approximately 3000-sq. m. of Dankirke has been excavated divided in two areas of investigation Dankirke Øst (East) and Dankirke Vest (West). In the eastern area only one house was excavated (house I) as well as pronounced layers in the area northeast to the house, where there were also many pits and postholes. During the excavation some of these postholes were thought to belong to a construction (house II). In the western area five houses was excavated in part or in total as well as four wells. The houses VIII, IV, III, VII and V (Va and Vb) represent in chronological order the site from pre-roman Iron Age to the Migration period.

Rich and varied finds were located during the excavations, not least from the House V, from where many metal artefacts and types of glass were discovered. The combination of finds has led to the description of Dankirke as a site of prosperity, a rich farm as well as a centre of trade.

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Hjelm, Denmark

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Marsk Stig (one of the most prominent men in Denmark in the late 13th century) was outlawed in 1297 for the murder in 1286 of king Erik Klipping. Stig fled with his men to the small (less than one sq.km.) island of Hjelm in 1290, where they set to work to fortify the island with three castles: Fyrbakken in the centre of the island, Kastelsbakken on a headland out on the coastal slope towards the west, and Skådebakken on the east side of the island. When the outlaws took over Hjelm they brought with them some captive moneyers with the intention of undermining the Danish economy with large amounts of counterfeit coins. In 1306 the king attacked the island and burned down all three fortifications.

The purpose of the investigations in 1999 and 2000 was to ascertain, whether the three fortifications were in fact from this period, and to locate the site of the coin production. During the excavations trenches were dug at two of the three fortifications, which were found to date from the late 13th century, and three separate locations for coin production were also found. Large quantities of copper pieces represent all stages in the coin-production process: Scrap metal, casting waste, newly cast and hammered-out bars, and cut square pieces which were cold-forged into blanks, as well as finished coins.

Excavation plans, a finds database, excavation reports and elevation data of the entire island are among the data made available in this online archive.

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Vorbasse, Denmark

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Excavations at the village of Vorbasse between 1974 and 1987 covered an area of about 1 sq.km established a settlement continuity from the time of Christ to the present day. Most of the excavated area covered the settlements from the Iron Age, Viking Period and Early Middle Ages. In the early phases, three settlements existed in the area at the same time, but around 400 AD this was reduced to two, each consisting of 4-6 individual farms.

400 years later at the beginning of the Viking Period these settlements merged into one village with 6 large farms. Each of the farms can be followed through the following centuries, well into the 12th century. At the middle of the Viking Period, a marked increase in area for all 6 farms occurs.

The data from the Viking Period from Vorbasse forms the documentation in the excavation archive, as the production of digital material from the other phases of the excavation is not yet complete. The material available for download consists mainly of descriptions of individual buildings and several sets of excavation plans. There is also a list of finds.

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Hofstaðir, Iceland

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The skáli or longhouse at Hofstaðir in Mývatn, NE Iceland, was originally excavated by Daniel Bruun in 1908, with further investigations in 1965 by Olaf Olsen. These excavations were carried out to investigate the Viking hof or pagan temple site suggested by the place-name and historical narratives. Since 1991 the Institute of Archaeology, Iceland (FSÍ) has conducted archaeological investigations focused on the Viking longhouse and immediate areas, using the most recent intrusive and non-intrusive methods. The excavations revealed sunken featured buildings, attached and detached ancillary buildings, and related external deposits. There has also been evaluation of the medieval to early modern farm mound, as well as substantial excavation around the medieval chapel and cemetery. The digital archive from the archaeological investigations from Hofstaðir include a portion of the data from the FSÍ investigations, with downloadable files of the site plans, databases, interim reports, topographic survey and geophysics are available in a variety of dissemination file formats.

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Egge, Norway

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On a massive end moraine at the far end of the Trondheim fjord in the middle part of Norway we find the two farms of Egge and Hegge. They are situated on the top of a hill, which gives them optimal possibilities of control of both the surrounding land and sea area. On the fields of these two farms there have been settlements for the past 3-4000 years. In fact, the first Stone Age settlement discovered in Norway was found here. However, Egge and Hegge are best known for their great burial grounds from the Iron and Viking Ages, which unfortunately are dramatically reduced today. Luckily Egge has always attracted a lot of attention as a result of the mention of the farm in the sagas. As a consequence of the saga connections documentation recording the registration of sites and excavations at Egge were begun as early as 200 years ago and where added to at regular intervals since. Initially the area included some 75 burial sites, of which only approximately 30 are preserved today.

There are a number of sites in the Egge landscape. On the top of the hill the sites show two concentrations of mounds from the late Iron and Viking Ages and one of stone covered burial circles from the late Iron Age. One last group of sites from the late Iron and Viking Ages, which is represented by mounds and various stone formations, is located partly on the top of the hill and partly on the field below, close to the shoreline of the time.

Even in the Migration Age and the Merovingian period Egge was an important farm, it represents one of the most prominent chieftain farms of the Viking Age in the middle part of Norway. In the sagas Egge is mentioned more frequently than most recognizable farms in the tales of the Viking Age.

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The Archaeological Repertory of Romania: Archive Digitisation Project

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The Institute of Archaeology, 'Vasile Pârvan', in Bucharest started the documentation for the Archaeological Repertory of Romania (RAR) half a century ago (in 1949 - 1950). The project had the ambition to record unpublished field surveys and any mention of archaeological discovery in the known literature back to the 18th century. The activity stopped in 1956 due to lack of funding. It resulted in an important collection of paper cards bound together in files, arranged topographically by regions, districts and localities, according to the administrative organisation of the time. The result was a rather heterogeneous collection of information. The paper archive has never been published, although scholars working for archaeological repertories in various territories have consulted the archive during their preliminary documentation.

Work on RAR archive digitisation project started in 2001, following a co-operation agreement between the Institute of Cultural Memory and the Institute of Archaeology. The project aims to critically extract the basic information (location, site type, period, and bibliographic reference) from the manuscripts into a database, and scanning the originals for digital archiving. The data model was decided by a working group, which led to the design of a database application (Access 2000) to meet the aims of the project. The Institute of Archaeology is responsible for cataloguing, and CIMEC is responsible for the database maintenance, scanning of the original cards, image processing, and inscribing them on CD-ROMs. At least one copy is stored in each location. At present there are over 5,500 records in the RAR database (5,522 site records, 4,621 localities, 1,769 assemblies, 831 complexes, 6,970 finds, 14,954 bibliographic references) and 3,000 cards are scanned, which represent some 40% of the archive.

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The Chronicle of the Archaeological Researches in Romania (1983 - 2002)

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The Chronicle of the Archaeological Researches in Romania is a national database initiated by the Directorate of Archaeology, the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs and is designed and maintained by the Institute for Cultural Memory in order to provide information about the archaeological excavations in Romania during the last two decades.

The database contains 2,000 archaeological reports of the excavations undertaken during 1983 and 2001 in Romania in 703 archaeological sites. The following information is provided for each excavation: location of the site (locality, commune, county), type of site, period, excavation team (persons and institutions), and a brief report on the finds and excavation techniques. Information is updated yearly according to the data send by the authors of the researches. The reports are accompanied by more than 1,500 illustrations and are ordered alphabetically by the name of the sites and the administrative location.

The information is indexed on various criteria:

All the indexes are in Romanian and English. About 25% of the reports have abstracts in foreign languages (English and French), sent by the authors, together with references and bibliographical notes.

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Cottam, United Kingdom.

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The presence of Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian settlements at Cottam B, East Yorkshire, was first indicated in 1987 by numerous finds of copper alloy coins, dress pins and strap ends by metal detector users. Archaeological fieldwork revealed an enclosure of the eighth-ninth centuries AD, containing traces of a small number of post-built halls. In the late ninth century this settlement was then abandoned, a process which led to the incorporation of a human female skull in a domestic rubbish pit. A new enclosed settlement was laid out nearby, which was occupied briefly in the early tenth century. It is argued that the Anglian settlement may have been part of a royal multiple estate but that as a result of estate reorganisation after the Scandinavian settlement it developed into an independent manor. Cottam is the first so-called 'productive site' in the environs of York to be the subject of archaeological investigations. The results suggest that it was a prosperous but not exceptional site, and that the primary activity was farming, with limited evidence for trade or manufacture. This work also prompts a reassessment of the typology of crop mark enclosures and a re-examination of the large number of undated enclosures in the area. Should you wish to learn more about using the Cottam archive you may wish to visit the Cottam section of the PATOIS excavation tutorial.

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Danebury, Hampshire, United Kingdom

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Danebury, in the county of Hampshire, is an Iron Age fort situated on a hill rising to a height of 143 m above sea level, between 45 and 60 m above the surrounding level of the gently undulating chalk plain of Wessex. The site has been the scene of a major programme of excavation that began in 1969 under the direction of Prof Barry Cunliffe and was completed in 1978. This is one of the most thoroughly investigated examples of an Iron Age hill fort in the United Kingdom. Volumes 1 (excavation: the site) and 2 (excavation: the finds) of the extensive publication are now available in digital format as part of the CBA research reports collection to be found on the Archaeology Data Service website. This collection of digital archives provides a detailed resource that supplements the publication of this internationally renowned excavation site.

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Ager Tarraconensis, Spain

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The Ager Tarraconensis archive represents data from a survey conducted between 1985 and 1990 in the territory of Tarragona in Spain. The survey used field-walking techniques to investigate the development of the classical landscape in the hinterland of Tarraco, the Roman provincial capital of Hispania Citerior (Tarraconensis). The survey demonstrated that the analysis of pottery scatters could make a positive contribution to a study of the relationship between Tarragona and its hinterland in antiquity. The evidence showed that the Roman landscape was heavily populated and densely exploited and also showed a predominance of smaller farmsteads over villas.

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Kowalewko, Poland

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In 1994 a construction project of the Trans - European gas pipeline from Jamal peninsula (Siberia) to Western Europe was started. The Polish section of the pipeline was over 1300 km long. This enormous development created serious threat to numerous archaeological sites, placed alongside the pipeline's projected route. In order to rescue them, a three-step project has been created and executed:

Over seven hundred sites of different chronology and function (settlements, cemeteries, production centres etc.) have been researched. The most valuable was, as it appeared, the Roman Age cemetery in Kowalewko, with extraordinary rich both funeral customs and burial finds. The results of the research, described below, present numerous, often fascinating grave goods, but also allow us to consider about the ideas of death and after - life in the community from the beginning of the First Millennium AD.

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Biskupin archaeological reserve, Poland

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Being situated about 70 km NE from Poznan, Biskupin is one of the best known archaeological reserves in Central Europe. It was founded before the Second World War by the efforts of archaeologist from Poznan University, Professor Józef Kostrzewski, and grew constantly thanks to his assistant, Prof. Zdzislaw A. Rajewski. Today, Biskupin archaeological reserve covers 24 hectares (59.3 acres). But it is not only a relic of the past. Each year thousands of people come here, especially during the largest archaeological festival in Europe, performed every year during the third week of September. It becomes a centre of experimental archaeology, education and above all - fun.

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Dankirke, Denmark Hjelm, Denmark Vorbasse, Denmark HofstaĆ°ir, Iceland Egge, Norway The Archaeological Repertory of Romania: Archive Digitisation Project The Chronicle of the Archaeological Researches in Romania (1983 - 2002) Cottam, United Kingdom Danebury, Hampshire, United Kingdom Ager Tarraconensis, Spain Kowalewko, Poland Biskupin archaeological reserve, Poland