A Finnish Man Inspecting a Pipe Trench Discovered a Christian Burial Site Dating Back to the Swedish Crusades
Crusade-era mortuary is located in the yard of the house on the left. Photo: Juha Ruohonen / University of Turku, archaeology.
A man who was inspecting geothermal pipes in Salo, Finland, unwittingly uncovered a Christian cemetery dating back a thousand years to the time of the Swedish Crusades.
The first discovery came in August, after days of heavy rain, when the local landowner spotted a shaft of iron sticking out of the ground. It turned out to be a 12th-century sword with a cross-guard and a three-sided knob, known as a pommel.
The landowner contacted an archeologist at the University of Turku who investigated the site alongside another archaeologist from the Turku Museum Center, responsible for assembling and conserving the region’s cultural heritage. Believing the sword was not an isolated object, the researchers began excavating the site in September with a team of archaeology students.