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Discover ancient monuments near you in the new Fornsök

New Forest Search
New forensics

Today, the National Heritage Board's 11-year-old search service Fornsök has received a much-needed update.

Forestry is, for those who are not already familiar with the service, The National Heritage Board search service containing information on all known registered ancient monuments and cultural-historical remains in Sweden.

Allmogens own map, History map, provides more detailed historical background on a selection of sites that we think are particularly interesting and worth a visit, while Fornsök gives you information on every little arrowhead found.

Through Fornsök, for example, I found out that a former owner of my small farm in Ångermanland, municipal chairman Jonas Mårtensson, in 1919 found an 18 cm long dagger in reddish-brown slate when he was raking the barley field. A piece of a socketed axe has also been found on the farm, while a few pebbles away there are known settlements from the Stone Age. So you can count on me to look extra carefully when I'm out in the garden. You never know what might turn up with the next dig.

If I allow myself to fantasise a little, one can imagine that the slate dagger that Mårtensson found one summer almost 100 years ago was made during late Neolithic, the final phase of the Neolithic period, some 3800-4400 years ago. This period was even called the dagger time, after the flint daggers that were common then.

Perhaps the dagger was similar to the one below, also made of slate and also decorated with an animal head (moose?), which was used by some person between 3299-2300 BC in Skuggan, Gästrikland, Sweden.

Photo: Sara Kusmin, 2006-06-29, SHMM (CC BY)

So what's new in Fornsök?

What I like most about the new version is that it has a new and more user-friendly look. It's easier for a novice to dig into the hundreds of thousands of recorded ancient monuments, and the map has completely new and clearer graphic symbols that give a better overview of the different types of ancient monuments in an area.

The new version also has a searchable register with information on all new archaeological missions such as archaeological investigations and surveys.

Read more about other improvements here.

But remember as you explore the map that, although the map is absolutely teeming with ancient monuments, it has literally only scratched the surface of the Nordic mythology. There are certainly many times more ancient monuments still hidden in the ground.

As Vilhelm Moberg wrote in the first part of My Swedish history, "Sweden's largest national archive is the Swedish soil"and it is a land that is still largely undiscovered.

What's hidden in the soil of your home village?

Only time will tell.

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