Comments: 49 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

Eternally657 karma

How was it discovered? How long was it suspected there might be a site there?

Sandby_Borg_AMA8 karma

The Ring fort have always been know, since it is such a huge structure. But the finds were found in 2010. While doing som geophysical studies in the fort some looting pits were found. Archaeologist then searced the fort with metal detectors and the high quality brooches were found (http://www.sandbyborg.se/the-artefacts.html). We then decided to dig where the brooches lay and we then found the bodies. /Helena Victor

NordicMe6 karma


Sandby_Borg_AMA4 karma

A lot of qustions! I start from the beginning: Professionally (and many of the without pay) we usually are between 15-20 people at every day at the site. We have had a group of amateur archaeologies one year and then we were ca 25 people. We have only dug for 1,5 month on total. Q2: It is the department of archaeology at Kalmar County museum that is in charge, but we collaborate with several universities to. Check our website sandbyborg.se for more info! We have had a lot om media coverage in Sweden, for instance the most popular TV-show about popular sciene,Vetenskapens värld, is filming and sending updates from the project continuosly. Q4: The bodies and the extraordinary jewellery finds. But also a part of a herring, which could be part of the last meal in the fort. //Helena Victor

cbuch18005 karma

How long do you think the dig will take?

Sandby_Borg_AMA8 karma

If we where to dig the whole ring fort (and the outside) it would take severel years. 10-20 perhapes, if we have funding for it! That is way we try to dig one house at the time from now on./Helena Victor

Eternally655 karma

After you have finished your dig, do you cover up the ruins again, or leave them exposed?

Sandby_Borg_AMA5 karma

We cover up the ruins again. It is the law. And we want to because the site is very beautiful and should remain beutiful. Thera are also a lot of cattle grazing the area and we wouldn't like them to get hurt!/Helena Victor

Eternally654 karma

Do you have any idea why the area was not settled again later but was apparently abandoned forever?

Sandby_Borg_AMA6 karma

We think that the fort was "forbidden area" for people on Öland. I was probably some kind of neighbours that attacked them as a manifestation of power more than for plundering. It was a very vicious attack, made to put fear in all inhabitants of Öland. They then forbid anyone from burying the bodies or enter the fort. The fear seems to have lived on in the memory of people and even still today, there are a lot of people who grew up close to the fort that have heared that the fort is a plce you don't visit, a dangeous place./Helena Victor

Eternally653 karma

That is fascinating. It seemed strange to not fully plunder the place. Was this a common thing at the time?

Sandby_Borg_AMA4 karma

Difficult to say, because ther is no similar site to compare with. But we know from the old sagas that plundering was common. It is stranger. They may have taken some objects with them, but they also left things that usually were taken (according to the sagas) like lambs, jewellery and such. /Helena Victor

shannon-3 karma

It's interesting that you haven't found many weapons, do you think this is because the attackers would have taken any that they found at the Fort?
I hope you are eventually able to excavate the whole site and continue the great finds!

Sandby_Borg_AMA4 karma

We think that they have carried away some weapons, yes. The most common find, except for bodies are beads. Escpecially small blue ones, the ones we call blueberries. There are a lot of beads all over the place. ANd the beads are probably not scandinavian./Helena Victor

We also hope to excavate it!

viiveke3 karma

Has there been any attempt to find if the victims are borne and raised on Öland?

Sandby_Borg_AMA2 karma

We think that they are from Öland, and have plans to work with DNA in the future. We have for two of the victims with isotopeanalysis on their teeth. There are some problems though. There are only skeletons from Sandby borg to work with in this area since all other bodies were cremated. That was the normal burial tradition during this time. So far we can see that they seems to be from Öland, or rather we can't say that they are not! Difficult to interpret this kind of analysis! Helene Wilhelmsson at Lund University is the one working with this. The architecture and some finds also indicate that they were from Öland.

viiveke3 karma

What about the position of the fort? The only one on the shore with extra defenses towards the land side, is that significant or just an oddity?

Sandby_Borg_AMA4 karma

It is significant! We don't know excactly how yet though. It seems that they tried to make the defences extra strong for som reason. THey probably thought that they needed it. And they did! Unfortunatly it didn't work...

fragglerock2 karma

Your website makes me think of Skara Brae rather than Pompeii


Are there any similarities?

Sandby_Borg_AMA5 karma

The similarities is mostly that we get a glimpse of everyday life on both sites. But Skara Brae dosent contain the elite finds and ROman import we find in Sandby borg. An lastly, but certainly not leastly - we have the bodies of the inhabitans (we thonk at least) lying where they were slaughterd! That is the not the case in Skara Brae. At Sandby borg we have a frozen moment in time which doesn-t really exist in Skara Brae./Helena Victor

trashacount123452 karma

Have the findings so far changed your perception of everyday life at the time? If so, how? If not, what has been confirmed?

Sandby_Borg_AMA2 karma

We know so little about there everyday life. We know what kind of food they ate and so on, but now we can start to discuss how they used furnitures, cooked and so forth. We can also see that the legendary brutality of this time (from the sagas) are true! It seems that most of their lifes were surrounded by the notion of violence. Sad indeed! /Helena Victor

vertexoflife1 karma

What kind of food did they eat?

Sandby_Borg_AMA2 karma

Meat, fish, grains, berrys, herbs, dairy products. Possibly some type of beets or such likes. Much like traditional farmers.

vertexoflife0 karma

Interesting. Is there any evidence that they would keep animals in their residences with them, as was common in rural Europe, or did they keep them elsewhere?

Sandby_Borg_AMA1 karma

It was common to have domestic animals in one part in the house when living in longhouses, which was the normal type of dwelling house during the Iron age. But in Sandby borg (and the other excavated ring fort Eketorp) the dwelling houses were smaller, and the animals were kept in other buildings. We have found animals i two houses, and we think that they were left there to die after the attack./Helena Victor

viiveke2 karma

How isolated were they from their enemies then? Are at least some of the graves in the vicinity from the same time and thus from close neighbours?

Sandby_Borg_AMA2 karma

We don't think they were isolated at all. Just that they tried to keep themselves safe by strong defences, without isolating themselves geographically. We think that the inhabitants in the fort normally lived in the neighboring settlements./Helena Victor

Nordoisthebest2 karma

Several questions:

As with all new trends do you think that KickStarter will be a conductive resource for funding arch. sites?

What is your opinion on the ethics of the CRM community in Scandinavia? Is there corruption within, in the US I have heard horror stories of employees having to invoice their employers for months to get paid.

Due to the heavy snowfall in Sweden is remote sensing for man made sites even a possibility?

Speaking of the snow, the site you are at has everything in pretty much primary context. Is this uncommon due to the snow melting and runoff being everywhere?

Sandby_Borg_AMA1 karma

Q1: Kickstarter is an experiment to see if it is possible. Since we have seen a huge interest in Sandby borg, both in Sweden and internationally, we thought that we should try. The concept is very new in Sweden so many don't really understand how it wors unfortunally. But I think it will be more common in the future. Q2: We don't have that kind of corruption here! Luckily! Q3: We don't have that much snow! Sweden's climate is influenced by the Gulf Stream, and therefore rather mild. We have the same climate as in many parts of the middle part of the US, like New York. So we use remote sensing, yes. Q4: The site is very well preserved, but that is due to the level of lime in the soil (it preserves skeletal remains). The snowmelting doesn't influence the preservation more then normal raining. It is the soil that matters./Helena Victor

dutchkimble2 karma

How come looters haven't taken a lot of things from there?

Sandby_Borg_AMA4 karma

Hi! There have been looters and we think that they may have some some objects. But the best finds was buried to deep for metal detectors to find!/Helena Victor

SilentlyCrying1 karma

At times it feels like all there is to be discovered has already been. Are there more treasures just waiting to be unearthed?

Sandby_Borg_AMA1 karma

There probably is! Difficult to know about the unknown! But I'm certain there are a lot new dicoverys left to find all over the world! At every dig at Sandby borg we get stunned and surprised! Our first expectations have been fulfilled way back, and now we have stopped to have excpecations, because the "sky is the limit" on this site./Helena Victor

SuramKale1 karma

Borg? So First Contact was a true story?

Sandby_Borg_AMA2 karma

Refering to Star Trek? And no, don't think so :)

sinkwater1 karma


Sandby_Borg_AMA1 karma

You can't find them because we don't show that on the site. We have reports about being layouted now that we will publish shortly were the finds exact location will be shown./Helena Victor

Ididmybesttonotice1 karma


Sandby_Borg_AMA2 karma

Start to study archaeology! It is the most fun you could do. You won't get rich, but satisfied. Study hard, get in touch with working archaology to get god practise and studie som more :) /Helena Victor

wellvis1 karma

In the artefacts page of your website, you mention that few weapons were found. Could this be because the victorious attackers carried off any weapons they found?

It's amazing to see the amount of imported items from Rome and other lands. What has been the most unusual item found so far?

Sandby_Borg_AMA1 karma

We think that they have carried away some weapons, yes. The most common find, except for bodies are beads. Escpecially small blue ones, the ones we call blueberries. There are a lot of beads all over the place. ANd the beads are probably not scandinavian./Helena Victor

Crazy_D-ude-9 karma

What is your favorite Pokémon? Please Answer

Sandby_Borg_AMA5 karma

Pikachu. What does that has to do with Sandby borg?