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Modern Conflict Archaeology day with students from Hankoniemen Lukio and Hangö Gymnasium

On Saturday 12th of September I met up with junior and senior students from both highschools in Hanko at the Hanko Front Museum. The day was a very rainy one so instead of actual hands on excavations we decided to concentrate on the theory of battlefield archaeology, safety issues during conflict archaeology digs, the second world war heritage of the Hanko front and ethics during repatriation of war dead.

Students from Hangö Gymnasium and Hankoniemen lukio during the conflict archaeology day at the Hanko Front Museum. Photo Lena Sommer.


During the lectures we also discussed topics like what it is to work as an archaeologist in Finland, politics and archaeology of WW2, humanitarian v.s. scientific work in WW2 battlefield archaeology, excavation techniques, 3D documentation and conservation of battlefield relics. We also paid a vist to the exhibition at the Front Museum and looked closer at a few of the exhibits displaying battlefield found items.

Drone taking off. Photo Jan Fast


It was a true priviledge to meet the students each of whom will write a short essay on their impressions from this rather different school day. As it wasn´t possible to do any excavating I hope the students will get a second chance and participate in the digs planned for 2021 or 2022.

Looking at a scale model of the bunker of General Kabanov were the project will start excavations in 2022. Photo Lena Sommer.


We ended the day with a visit to the site of the site of the Soviet WW2 war graves in Täcktom.

At the reconstructed grave site in Tvärminne. Photo Lena Sommer.


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Finnish troops attacking a Soviet held island in the Hanko archipelago in the summer of 1941. Photo SA-Kuva.

© 2020 by MA Jan Fast 

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