FindSampo Public Seminar – recordings now available

The recordings of the presentations from the two-day public online seminar that took place on 17 and 18 May 2021 are now available to view via the links below.

Monday 17.5.2021 presentations part 1 (English and Finnish, 2 hours 23 minutes)

  • Presentations from Suzie Thomas, Anna Wessman, Eero Hyvönen, Heikki Rantala, Esko Ikkala and Ville Rohiola, chaired by Ulla Salmela.

Monday 17.5.2021 presentations part 2 (Finnish only, 57 minutes)

  • Presentations from Eljas Oksanen and Jaakko Aarineveräjä, chaired by Ulla Salmela

Tuesday 18.5.2021 presentations part 1 (English only, 1 hour 30 minutes)

  • Presentations from Suzie Thomas, Anna Wessman, Eero Hyvönen, Esko Ikkala, Heikki Rantala, and Ville Rohiola chaired by Suzie Thomas

Tuesday 18.5.2021 presentations part 2 (English only, 1 hour 34 minutes)

  • Presentations from Suzie Thomas, Andres Dobat, Pieterjan Deckers, Stijn Heeren, Michael Lewis and Bonnie Pitblado, chaired by Suzie Thomas.

Varaa päivät kalenteriisi! Virtuaalinen Löytösampo/SuALT-konferenssi – Save the dates! FindSampo/SuALT virtual conference 17.-18.5.2021

Varaa päivät kalenteriisi! Virtuaalinen Löytösampo/SuALT-konferenssi

SuALT-projekti järjestää virtuaalisen konferenssin 17.–18.5.2021, jossa esitellään Löytösampoa ja sen ominaisuuksia.

Ensimmäinen konferenssi päivä, maanantai 17.5.2021 klo 14:00–18:00 on suomenkielinen ja toinen, tiistai 18.5.2021 klo 14:00–18:00 englanninkielinen.

Konferenssi on pääsymaksuton, mutta tapahtumaan tulee ilmoittautua. Lisätietoa ilmoittautumisesta ja konferenssin ohjelmasta julkaistaan lähiviikkojen aikana.

FindSampo logo

Save the dates! FindSampo/SuALT virtual conference
 
On May 17 and 18 2021 the SuALT project will hold an online conference, also presenting FindSampo.
 
Monday May 17, 14:00–18:00 EEST will be a Finnish-language event, with Tuesday May 18, 14:00-18:00 EEST in English.
 
Registration will be free of charge, and details of both how to register for either or both days, plus the conference programme, will be released in the coming weeks.
 

Roomalaisaikainen emalikoristeinen hevosenkenkäsolki Pohjois-Savosta / A penannular brooch with enamel decorations: a Roman-era find from Northern Savonia

Metallinetsinlöydöt rikastuttavat kuvaa Suomen alueen historiasta. Osa löydöistä on merkittäviä myös siinä mielessä, että ne auttavat meitä ymmärtämään alueellista historiakuvaa uudella tavalla. Yksi esimerkki tällaisesta löydöstä on Lapinlahdelta löytynyt roomalaisaikainen emalikoristeinen hevosenkenkäsolki (KM41196:1). Ainutlaatuisen löydöstä tekee se, että Pohjois-Savon alueelta ei ole ennen löytynyt varhaisrautakaudelle ajoittuvaa esineistöä.

Enameled penannular brooch

Kesällä 2016 siilinjärveläinen metallinetsinharrastaja teki yllätyksekseen löydön Lapinlahden Kärjenniemestä. Rantaviivan läheisyydestä löytyi emalikoristeinen hevosenkenkäsoljen puolikas. Suomessa solkityyppiä käytettiin 300-400-luvuilla, nuoremman roomalaisajan ja kansainvaellusajan vaihteessa. Emalikoristeisia hevosenkenkäsolkia on usein kuvailtu aikakautensa näyttävimpinä esineinä. Mielenkiintoisen näköisen koruesineestä tekevät sen värikkäät emalikoristeet. Suomesta emalikoristeisia hevosenkenkäsolkia on nyt löytynyt yhteensä kahdeksan kappaletta. Löytöpaikat sijaitsevat yleisesti sisämaassa, erityisesti Hämeen alueella. Solkien valmistuspaikkana pidetään Virumaata, jolla tarkoitetaan virolaista muinaismaakuntaa. On myös esitetty, että emalikoristeisia hevosenkenkiä olisi mahdollisesti valmistettu myös Suomen alueella.

Emalikoristeinen soljen puolikas herättää monia kysymyksiä, joille ei vielä ole vastauksia. Mitä alueella on tapahtunut kyseisenä ajanjaksona? Mitä soljen löytöpaikalla on tapahtunut? Minkälainen tarina kätkeytyy puolikkaan soljen taakse ja missä sen toinen puolikas on?

Lisää tietoa emalikoristeisesta hevosenkenkäsoljesta löytyy Ville Rohiolan kirjoittamasta artikkelista, joka on nyt julkaistu sivustoilla Academia.edu ja Researchgate. Artikkeli on julkaistu alkujaan kirjassa ”Monttu Auki – Arkeologisia kenttätutkimuksia 2”.

A penannular brooch with enamel decorations: a Roman-era find from Northern Savonia 

In summer 2016, a metal detectorist found half of a penannular brooch with enamel decorations (KM41196:1) in Lapinlahti Kärjenniemi, Northern Savonia. This brooch type is shaped like a horseshoe, and it was once an impressive object with its colourful enamel decorations. The group of brooches is assumed to have been made in the ancient county of Vironia in Estonia.

Enameled penannular brooch

In Finland, this type of brooch was used at the turn of the early Ro­man period and Migration Period, in the 4th and 5th centuries AD. The brooch found in Lapinlahti was decorated with smelted dark red, blue and black enamel. What makes this find significant is that no other objects dating back to the early Iron Age have previously been found in the area of Northern Savonia.

The closest findspots representing the same period are in Viitasaari and Konnevesi, Central Finland. The findspot has been inspected, but without excavation it is not possible to say whether this is an individual artefact or an indication that the custom of burying bodies with objects had spread to the wilderness of Northern Savonia.

An article about the penannular brooch with enameled decoration by Ville Rohiola is published digitally in Academia.edu and Researchgate. The article was originally published in the book ”Monttu Auki – Arkeologisia kenttätutkimuksia 2”.

EAA Virtual conference 2020 – Presentation from Ville Rohiola

Due to the pandemic, the European Association of Archaeologists’ annual meeting is virtual this year. Among the many online presentations in the scientific programme, Ville Rohiola of the Finnish Heritage Agency is presenting about FindSampo in the session “Challenge, Change and Common Ground: The Role of Socially Engaged Practice in Community Archaeology in Modern Europe”, scheduled to run on Friday 28 August.

FindSampo presentation slide

Ville’s presentation is titled “FindSampo: A Cooperative Citizen Science Platform to Manage and Curate Archaeological Find Data in Finland”, with the following abstract:

FindSampo (Fi. Löytösampo) is a web portal under development in Finland for archaeological finds made by public, particularly by avocational metal detectorists. The database is developed by the Finnish Archaeological Finds Recording Open Linked Database (SuALT) project. The four-year consortium project funded by the Academy of Finland involves the Finnish Heritage Agency (FHA), the University of Helsinki and Aalto University.

The goal of the project is to develop innovative solutions for reporting, researching and managing archaeological find data. As a result, FindSampo will provide public, archaeologists, and other researchers a web service to study find data and its spatial information online globally. For FHA, the platform will work as a tool to manage and curate disseminated find data and archaeological information. It will also streamline the processes of heritage management dealing with metal detecting. The database applies citizen science and activates participatory collaboration between the public, researchers and heritage managers.

Ontologies and metadata models are needed to represent archaeological information as a digital resource for research and for wider public. For Archaeological Collections it is essential that the self-recorded find data (by public) is compatible with the FHA’s collection management. The ontology infrastructure is needed to make linked data interoperable with national and international databases. For example, the concept-based ontology of archaeological object names, that the FHA has developed, is essential to record accurate and compatible find data. With formal data structures, it is possible to disseminate archaeological information for different user needs. This paper discusses the importance of open access data and public domain use of archaeological information, especially of archaeological object finds.

The session begins at 14:00 CEST (15:00 in Finland), with Ville’s presentation scheduled to take place at 16:15 CEST (17:15 in Finland). Registration for the conference is open to all EAA members, with details about joining and registration via the conference website.

New open access article debating responsible and responsive artefact stewardship

In the latest issue of the journal Antiquity, Suzie Thomas has written a Debate piece with Bonnie Pitblado, titled “The dangers of conflating responsible and responsive artefact stewardship with illicit and illegal collecting”.

The article is Open Access, and has the following abstract:

Archaeology and private artefact collecting have complex and inextricably linked histories. Archaeologists have long drawn attention to criminal activity among collectors, but to assume that all private owners of cultural material—and any archaeologists who interact with them—have ill-intent or engage in illegal behaviour can cause as much harm to the archaeological record as the criminal actions themselves.

In addition to the article are three Response pieces, from Pieterjan Deckers, and also Joe Watkins (The Archaeological and Cultural Education Consultants, and Society for American Archaeology), and Morag Kersel (DePaul University), with a final reply from Pitblado and Thomas. The Responses are not open access, but contact Suzie Thomas for more information about these.

Reference information:

Thomas, S., & Pitblado, B. (2020). The dangers of conflating responsible and responsive artefact stewardship with illicit and illegal collecting. Antiquity, 94(376), 1060-1067. doi:10.15184/aqy.2019.201

Deckers, P. (2020). Archaeology’s awkward allies. Antiquity, 94(376), 1068-1070. doi:10.15184/aqy.2020.50

Watkins, J. (2020). ‘Not with the same brush’. Antiquity, 94(376), 1071-1073. doi:10.15184/aqy.2020.45

Kersel, M. (2020). Engaging with demand and destruction. Antiquity, 94(376), 1074-1076. doi:10.15184/aqy.2020.62

Pitblado, B., & Thomas, S. (2020). Unravelling the spectra of stewards and collectors. Antiquity, 94(376), 1077-1079. doi:10.15184/aqy.2020.99

New research output – FindSampo: A Citizen Science Platform for Archaeological Finds on the Semantic Web

Pejam Hassanzadeh did his master’s thesis on designing and developing a prototype of a citizen science platform for the SuALT project in Semantic Computing Research Group at Aalto University. The prototype aims to facilitate the reporting process of archaeological finds and also visualise available archaeological data which is collected by citizens.

The prototype (FindSampo) is designed adopting a mobile-first and user-centred design in order to enable potential users to report their finds effortlessly and also study diversely archaeological data. FindSampo is developed using Semantic Web and emerging Web development technologies.

In his thesis, Hassanzadeh points out that the developed prototype takes the current state of archaeological resources a step further by means of citizen science, Semantic Web and emerging Web development technologies. The evaluation of the prototype and user experience surveys also reveal that the platform improves significantly archaeological data collection, analysis and interpretation processes. Furthermore, it provides further research opportunities by visualising archaeological data as well as improving its availability and accessibility.

The prototype finds reporting system is an important output of the SuALT project, as it points to future ways of incorporating citizen science more fully into existing practices.

European Public Finds Recording Network

FindSampo is a member of the new European Public Finds Recording Network, a group that promotes publicly accessible recording schemes such as FindSampo for reporting and researching archaeological finds discovered by the public.

EPFRN recently launched their website, and can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow them for updates on joint publications, news, and events. In addition, the site features information about procedures for responsible metal detecting in not only Finland but also Denmark, England and Wales, Flanders (Belgium) and the Netherlands.

Studying the Danish model

Last October I spent a month at Aarhus University in Denmark. The idea was to spend some time learning about the Danish DIME, which is a role model for FindSampo, since both can be used with a mobile phone. I had long discussions about metal detecting with my host Dr. Andres Dobat, worked on a collective article about finds recording schemes while also rehearsing my Danish. As it happens, I shared an office with a Norwegian Ph.D. student Caroline Fredriksen who is working on a thesis about metal detecting in Norway, which led to interesting discussions about the similarities in the Finnish and Norwegian legislation. We have a lot in common.

Andres Dobat is introducing the motives of Danish metal detectorists in a public talk in Lejre, Roskilde

In Denmark, metal detecting is legal and it has been a popular hobby for almost 40 years. At the beginning of the 1980s, the attitudes towards detectorists were still skeptic among many archaeologists but the change has been fast due to the enormous amount of new knowledge that metal detecting has brought with it.

Since DIME launched in September 2018 over 40 000 finds have been reported in and it now has over 1600 users. Thus, DIME has turned out to be a true success story. However, more development needs to be done. For example, for the finds to be used by researchers they need to be of good quality, which might be challenging when out in the field. Luckily, it is possible to download new, better quality images into DIME and to FindSampo (in the future).

Adding a mock find into DIME. This is a shield from a door lock and is not considered to be an old find.

During my stay, I also had the chance to get out metal detecting with two metal detectorists Allan Faurskov and Carina Boese Voorhies, who also happens to be TV stars from the Danish TV-series Muldens mysterier and Gulgraverne. Even though no spectacular finds were found during the afternoon, I had the chance to observe how DIME is used in the field, which was valuable in respect to the future testing with FindSampo, as well as to discuss metal detecting as a hobby with the detectorists.

The month went by fast, unfortunately, but I brought back many ideas and insights about how we can improve FindSampo and collaborate with detectorists here in Finland even more inclusively than before.

FindSampo and Finnish Heritage Agency at Helsinki Book Fair / Löytösampo ja Museovirasto Helsingin Kirjamessuilla

How popular is metal detecting in Finland? How can the hobby help archaeology? What is the law concerning metal detecting and other non-professionals wishing to engage with archaeological material? And what’s the latest with FindSampo?

On 26 October at 14:00, at the Helsinki Book Fair taking place in Messukeskus, Ville Rohiola and Suzie Thomas will discuss with Sami Raninen from the Finnish Heritage Agency about metal detecting in Finland and the development of FindSampo. We will discuss mostly in English but also in Finnish.

You can find us at osasto 7m130, at the Finnish Heritage Agency’s stand. If you are at the Book Fair already on Thursday, you can meet with Ville Rohiola at the stand at 15:00-17:00.

Welcome to join our conversation!

Miten suosittua metallinetsintä on Suomessa? Miten harrastus voi auttaa arkeologista tutkimusta? Mitkä lait koskevat metallinetsintää sekä muuta arkeologiseen aineistoon liittyvää harrastustoimintaa? Mitä kehitteillä olevalle Löytösampo-portaalille kuuluu juuri nyt?

Lauantaina 26.10. Klo 14:00 Helsingin Kirjamessuilla Ville Rohiola ja Suzie Thomas keskustelevat yhdessä Sami Ranisen (Museovirasto) kanssa arkeologiasta ja metallinetsinnästä sekä Löytösampo-portaalista. Keskustelu käydään pääosin englanniksi, mutta osin myös suomeksi.

Keskustelu käydään Museoviraston ständillä, osastolla 7m130. Jos olet messuilla jo torstaina, käy moikkaamassa Ville Rohiola ständillä klo 15:00-17:00.

Tervetuloa kuuntelemaan ja keskustelemaan!

Löytösampoa testaamassa

Viime lauantaina projektimme kävi kentällä testaamassa Löytösammon prototyyppiä. Mukana oli myös kolme metallinetsinharrastajaa, Matti Mölsä, Anssi Puisto ja Anssi Vuohelainen, jotka olivat lupautuneet testaamaan käyttösovellusta kanssamme. Anna Wessman oli sosiaalisen median kautta etsinyt vapaaehtoisia testaajia. Koska kiinnostuneita ilmoittautui paljon, valitsimme testaajiksi kolme ensimmäiseksi ilmoittautunutta.

Vasemmalta: Matti Mölsä, Anssi Puisto, Pejam Hassanzadeh sekä Anssi Vuohelainen. Kuva/Photo: Helinä Parviainen

Esittelyn ja ohjeistuksen jälkeen Pejam Hassanzadeh jakoi testilinkin ja siirryimme pellolle. Pyysimme testaajia tallentamaan kaiken löytämänsä, jopa ruosteiset naulat, koska oli tärkeätä nähdä miten Löytösampo toimii kenttäolosuhteissa.

Jokaisella harrastajalla oli joko Anna Wessman, Helinä Parviainen tai Suzie Thomas seuranaan, jotka äänittivät kaikki kommentit Löytösammosta. Lisäksi oli tärkeää saada äänitettyä koko tallennusprosessi, jotta huomaisimme missä korjattavia ongelmia vielä on (kuten sellaiset tallennuksen vaiheet, jotka kestävät liian kauan). Ville Rohiola dokumentoi tapahtuman valokuvaamalla. Pejam Hassanzadeh, Mikko Koho ja Jouni Tuominen tarkkailivat kuinka sovellus toimii ja auttoivat teknisissä kysymyksissä.

Jouni ja Mikko testaamassa metallinetsimen käyttöä. Kuva/Photo: Ville Rohiola.

Mikko ja Jouni myös kokeilivat metallinetsintää itse laitteilla, jotka olimme lainanneet yliopiston arkeologian oppiaineesta. Tällä tavalla saimme todellisten aloittelijoiden testikokemuksia hyödyntäen samalla myös metallinetsijöiden asiantuntijuutta laitteiden käytössä! Mikko ja Jouni jatkavat sovelluksen testaamista ensi viikolla Aalto-yliopiston Otaniemen kampuksella, joten he lainaavat metallinetsimiä hiukan pidempään.

Palauteet auttoivat osoittamaan Löytösammossa olevia ongelmia. Niiden avulla voimme jatkokehittää sovellusta. Esimerkiksi löydöistä otettujen valokuvien tallentaminen tietokantaan kestää edelleen liian kauan. Myös löytäjien henkilökohtaisessa löytögalleriassa olisi hyvä olla pienoiskuvia, jotka auttavat erottamaan löydöt toisistaan myöhemmin. Kaiken kaikkiaan palaute oli positiivista ja rohkaisevaa. Yksi harrastajista oli aiemmin käyttänyt hollantilaista PAN-tietokantaa. Hänen mukaansa siinä ei ole applikaatiota vielä saatavilla, joten Löytösampo on ehdottomasti askel oikeaan suuntaan. Samalla Löytösampo rohkaisee harrastajia ilmoittamaan löytönsä nopeasti ja tehokkaasti.

Pejamille tämä testaus, ja sen jälkeen tapahtunut jälkikeskustelu kahvin ja voileipien kanssa, oli erityisen tärkeätä, koska palautteita käytetään paitsi Löytösammon parantamiseen myös hänen tulevassa maisterin opinnäytetyössään.

Mikko and Anna talking about FindSampo, while Anssi metal-detects in the background. Kuva/Photo: Ville Rohiola.

Testing FindSampo

Last Saturday several of us joined three metal detectorists, Matti Mölsä, Anssi Puisto and Anssi Vuohelainen, who kindly volunteered to test out the prototype FindSampo app for us. Anna Wessman had made a call for volunteers via social media and metal detecting discussion forums, and although we had a lot of interest, these three were the first to respond.

After introductions, Pejam Hassanzadeh shared the test link and we went to the field. We asked the detectorists to record everything they found, even rusty nails, as the important issue here was how FindSampo works in the field.

We recorded the testing also with Dictaphones. Kuva/Photo: Ville Rohiola.

Each detectorist had either Anna Wessman, Helinä Parviainen or Suzie Thomas accompanying them with a Dictaphone to record their impressions and have them talk through the recording process on FindSampo – noting where there were still issues in the process (for example steps taking too long to complete still), and to notice practical challenges that can be fixed. Ville Rohiola was on hand taking many photographs to document the event, and Pejam Hassanzadeh with Mikko Koho and Jouni Tuominen were on hand to see for themselves how the app works in the hands of detectorists, and to assist with technical issues and questions.

With metal detectors borrowed from the Archaeology section of the Department of Cultures, Mikko and Jouni also tried out metal detecting for themselves, and also tested using FindSampo as absolute beginners – benefiting also from the expert coaching of the detectorists! They will continue to test the app next week on the Otaniemi Campus of Aalto University, keeping the metal detectors for a little longer.

Pejam is assisting Anssi Puisto with FindSampo. Photo: Ville Rohiola.

Feedback helped pinpoint issues in the still-developing FindSampo app, for example that photos taken of the find and the surrounding area take a bit too long to upload, and the personal gallery of finds that users create as they record more finds could have thumbnail pictures to help differentiate which find is which later on. On the whole though, feedback was positive and encouraging, and one detectorist noted having used the Dutch system PAN that in that case there is as of yet no app available, so FindSampo is definitely a step in the right direction in terms of encouraging detectorists and others to report their finds quickly and efficiently.

Matti Mölsä reporting a testfind while Pejam Hassanzadeh is following the process. Photo: Helinä Parviainen

For Pejam this session, and the essential debrief afterwards with coffee and sandwiches, was especially crucial as the feedback feeds into his Masters dissertation, as well as helping to improve and enhance FindSampo itself.