I had planned two investigations this year, and the second took place in Storfjord, Troms, this week. We had permission to excavate a small area in a Sámi circular offering site that Ørnulv Vorren has described, but apparently not excavated, considering his notes. However, referring to a hole in the mound in the middle of the stone structure, he did note that the site had been disturbed before he came to see it.
Perhaps the disturbance left Vorren no hope of finding anything, but drawing on the experience from Karasjok last week, my team arrived at the site with high expectations.
Unfortunately the finds were limited to very recent objects that gave little insight into the original function of the structure, although they were interesting enough in terms of how it has been used in later times. On the other hand, the investigation of the wall and the mound inside it gave important information about both their constructions and possible functions.
After an intense week of lifting stones, digging, and documenting a trench through the southern part of the stone wall, the first conclusion is that whoever built it had a pretty good idea of what they were doing. Little seems left to coincidence. There was a foundation of sand and smaller stones, layers of stones in various sizes, and obviously a thought-through lay-out of the structure and a clear idea of how such a wall should be built and supported.
I think both the monumental size of the structure and the elaborate building technique indicate a very specific purpose. The question is which… Theories flew high among my enthusiastic crew members, archaeologists Anni-Helena Routsala, Anna-Kaisa Salmi, Ingvild Larsen, and Camilla Olofsson, and some of the thoughts that came along may just be of great importance – to the extent that I hesitate to reveal them until I have had a chance to investigate them further.
Again I have to thank all my amazing helpers for their hard work, good ideas and excellent company! I could not have done it without you!