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St. Mary's Dominican Convent in Sigtuna Revisited: Geophysical and archaeological investigations
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
2011 (English)In: Fornvännen, ISSN 0015-7813, Vol. 106, no 4, 322-333 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey and an archaeological excavation of the buried remains of the Medieval Dominican convent in Sigtuna (Raä 30) produced new information on the ground plan of the convent and the condition of the buried structures remaining at the site. The site has hitherto seen surprisingly little archaeological investigations, and it is now over 30 years since the previous fieldwork. In addition to the foundation walls of the convent and adjoining structures, GPR also revealed an earlier building phase and a previously unknown lavatorium connected to the southern range. These interpretations were confirmed by excavations in September 2009. A suggestion as to the function of the various buildings, based on comparison with other convents, is offered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2011. Vol. 106, no 4, 322-333 p.
Keyword [en]
Dominican Convent, GPR, Sigtuna, Excavation, Geophysical Prospection, Ground-penetrating Radar, Priory
Keyword [sv]
Dominkanerkonvent, Georadar, Sigtuna, Utgrävning, Geofysisk prospektering
National Category
Research subject
Archaeological Science; Archaeology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68975ISI: 000300466000004OAI: diva2:474400
Available from: 2012-01-09 Created: 2012-01-09 Last updated: 2012-09-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Remnant echoes of the past: Archaeological geophysical prospection in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Remnant echoes of the past: Archaeological geophysical prospection in Sweden
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis has been to investigate the benefits, pitfalls and possibilities of using geophysical methods in archaeological projects. This is exemplified by surveys carried out at archaeological sites in different geographical and chronological contexts. The thesis also aims at investigating the cause for the under-use of the methods in Swedish archaeology by looking at previously conducted surveys. The methods used during these surveys have been Ground-penetrating radar (GPR), magnetometer, slingram and a kappameter. The surveys in the mountain tundra region of Lapland show that magnetic susceptibility surveys is a valuable aid in discovering heaps of fire-cracked stones and when combined with magnetometry, also hearths. GPR and magnetometer surveys within the Migration Period ringfort Sandbyborg provided the spatial layout of the fort and indicated, along with results from recent excavations and metal detections, many similarities with the ringfort Eketorp II. The non-magnetic character of the sedimentary bedrock on Öland and Gotland is suitable for magnetometer surveys and the method is also highly appropriate for the detection of the remains of high-temperature crafts. GPR surveys at St. Mary’s Dominican convent in Sigtuna produced the spatial layout of the central cloister area. The investigations also show that the geology, pedology, land use and the character of commonly occurring prehistoric remains in Sweden, in certain circumstances and in certain areas, have restricted the possibility of successfully carrying out geophysical surveys. Care must therefore be taken to choose the right instrument for the survey and to tailor the sampling density of each geophysical survey, according to the character and size of the expected archaeological remains, in order to maximize their information return. To increase the use of geophysical methods in Sweden the educational opportunities, both for surveyors and professional archaeologists, need to improve.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, 2012. 116 p.
Theses and papers in scientific archaeology, ISSN 1400-7835 ; 13
Archaeological prospection, geophysical survey, Sweden, Ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry, Slingram, magnetic susceptibility, Neolithic, Migration period, Viking Age, Middle Ages, Öland, Gotland, Sigtuna, Lapland
National Category
Research subject
Archaeological Science
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79239 (URN)978-91-7447-549-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-10-12, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 C, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2012-09-20 Created: 2012-08-30 Last updated: 2012-09-26Bibliographically approved

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Viberg, Andreas
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