Posted by: Marte Spangen | August 25, 2013

In the wake of Vorren

Ready to go up river Karasjohka

Ready to go up river Karasjohka

Far up in the woods along river Karasjohka there is a circular offering site that is best reached by boat. Last year I was too late in the autumn to get a boatride, people had already stored their boats for the winter. This year I was better prepared and had hired Klemet Turi to guide and transport me up the river. Incidentally, he is the son of the man who once showed this site to the late Ørnulv Vorren and he was actually with them when Vorren investigated the site many years ago. This proved to be important, as he could supplement my knowledge about what they found back then.

It also proved imperative to have a local guide; you have to know the shallow rapids like the back of your hand to navigate through them. Luckily, Klemet could tell me he had driven the same riverboat for 29 years, and it lasted this time of crisscrossing up and down the river too.

In his notes and some articles, Vorren describes finds of wooden remains in this structure consistent with a notched wall of up to three layers on top of the stone wall. Two pieces of the notched wall is kept in Tromsø Museum and are among the finds I was allowed to sample for dating in January. I am waiting (anxiously!) for the results. Most of the remains in the stone circle were, however, just traces of decayed wood that Vorren registrered when deturfing it.

The Karasjohka circular offering site

The Karasjohka stone circle

The next day offered a much shorter boat trip, just crossing the river Iešjohka to see another site with both a circular offering site, cache structures and an elaborate shooting blind. Transportation was kindly provided by the owner of Jergul Astu.  The site was also visited by Vorren years ago, and he says he found bones and antlers there, which is of course highly interesting. An earlier visitor even describes finding remains of burnt wood and a wolverine scull, though uncertain in what context. Even today there are pieces of burnt and unburnt wood on the surface within the stone circle and on the stone walls, but of course, without further investigations it is a somewhat difficult to decide if these are part of the construction, remains from the use it was first meant for, or if they stem from some later activity at the site.

The Beajalgŋai circular offering site

The Beajalgŋai stone circle

These are exactly the questions I hope to answer about the wooden remains in the stone circle by lake Geaimmejávri, which my team and I will start investigating tomorrow. I am very curious of what we will find. Wish me luck!



  1. Lykke til! Superspennende, altså 🙂

    • Takk, Hege, det synes jeg og…! 🙂

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