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Introduction to the archaeological material

The archaeological and osteological assemblages from the excavations at Alvastra are large. Here they are presented category by category.

Fig. 1. Archaeological collections from Mats P. Malmer’s excavations. Photo: Jackie Taffinder, SHM


Otto Frödin’s excavations

Comprehensive discussions on various aspects of the archaeological assemblages from these older excavations are available in Hans Browall’s publication of 2011, unfortunately in Swedish. It has not been possible within the current project to make any new analyses or translate the analyses already made. The texts below under the heading Otto Frödin’s excavations are by no means comprehensive. They simply discuss some randomly chosen points of interest.  Unless otherwise stated, they have been written by Jackie Taffinder.

The finds from the excavations were given a new accession number each year according to the following table.

Accession number Year of excavation No of records


13572 1908 0 Stray finds
13929 1909 604
14272 1910 1347
14550 1911 1206
14800 1912 1419
15000 1913 387
15209 1914 668
15312 1914 86
15703 1915 165
15884 1916 178
16026 1917 610
16374 1919 776
18801 1928 545
19150 1929 1728
19414 1930 255
20884 1935 2 Stray finds
35920 22 Finds from Frödin’s excavations that have lost their accession number

Fig. 2. Accession numbers for the different years during Otto Frödin’s excavations.

Tables summarising the different categories of the archaeological assemblages are inserted in the texts below. These tables will invariably differ from the tables included in Hans Browall’s book of 2011. This is because Browall bases his tables on the analogue registration of the complete archaeological material whereas the tables included in the texts below are based on the sometimes incomplete material registered digitally in the museum database. References to Browall’s tables are made for each category of artefacts under discussion.

Fig. 3. Part of the osteological assemblage from Otto Frödin’s excavations in the museum storeroom. Photo: Jackie Taffinder, SHM


Mats P. Malmer’s excavations

All the material from this excavation has the same accession number: 34984, regardless of the year of excavation.

The texts below under the heading Mats P. Malmer’s excavations usually comprise a summary of a certain material category, often written by the project member who has been responsible for the registration of that category within the present project.  Authors have in their texts also included interesting observations of interest made during registration.

Nathalie Hinders: Ceramics, clay materials from all trenches; bone, antler, tusk and tooth from all trenches (together with Sandra Söderlind)

Gregory Hayden Strand Tanner: Flint and non-flint stone (excluding non-constructive stone) from the Eastern trench

Sandra Söderlind:  Flint and non-flint stone (excluding non-constructive stone) from the Western, Middle and Trial trenches; bone, antler, tusk and tooth from all trenches (together with Nathalie Hinders)

Jackie Taffinder: other texts

The following reference on this page has no web link:

Browall, H. 2011. Alvastra pålbyggnad, 1909-1930 års utgrävningar. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien. Handlingar. Antikvariska serien 48. Stockholm.