Osiliana and all history lovers of Saaremaa have received wonderful news just in time for Yule!
Namely, the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia decided to support the further development of Saaremaa’s Early History Information Centre (www.osiliana.eu), which will include a database of Saaremaa’s archaeological finds, ongoing geophysical surveys of Saaremaa’s fortifications and 3D reconstructions of the fortifications.
The state support will enable the employment of two additional young archaeologist under the Osiliana partnership project with Tallinn University: Maris Niinesalu-Mooni and Karin Rannaääre, who have both previously participated in the excavations, etc. with us. The additional funding will also allow more extensive georadar and magnemtometer surveys of the large forts and surrounding ‘towns’ of Saaremaa together, which will be done together with the geologists of Tallinn University and Tartu University and will include on the sites that have been excluded until now – for example, the rural town of Muhu.
The project was made possible thanks to the preparatory work carried out in the framework of Osiliana over the past years, for which we once again have the opportunity to thank our major donor Kristjan Rahu!
But, that’s not it: this year’s fundraising has been a success for archaeology and Saaremaa archaeology even more so!
Archaeometallurg Ragnar Saage’s new project RAUR will allow research into ancient iron production and blacksmithing to continue. Among other things, the project will look at damascened spearheads and swords found in Saaremaa, the chemical composition of which, when compared with local late Iron Age iron slag, should reveal whether these weapons, made to the highest technological standards of the time, were made by Saaremaa’s own blacksmiths or bought in from elsewhere. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for ours – maybe they were still made locally!
We wish all our supporters a Happy Yule and great new challenges in the coming year!