We are continuing our way down through the fill layer here at Riddarholmen. As the machines work, objects of all ages are coming up. Imagine my surprise, all the way here in Sweden, to see some letters flash by on this object--did that say Okla, as in Oklahoma, USA?
From a distance I figured the object to be stone with some lettering carved in it, but when I went to take a closer look and move it around, it was far too heavy for its size. It felt like lead! As it turns out it's actually a zinc ingot and yes its from Oklahoma, from Quinton Spelter Company, which operated from the 1910s to the 30s, owned by L.P. Clobentz, Elmer I. Streich and J.G. Starr.
It's amazing the trip this ingot must have taken. Some 1,000 km south to one of the ports in Texas or Louisiana, then a further 10,000 km to Stockholm, Sweden, possibly only to be lost overboard while being unloaded here. It most likely arrived in a quantity on the scale of 100s maybe even 1,000s, so losing one overboard may have meant a shrug and maybe a stern word from the foreman supervising the job, but not much worse. It evidently wasn't worth going in after anyways!
I går var Sjöhistoriskas fotograf Anneli Karlsson på plats vid utgrävningarna på Riddarholmen för att dokumentera arbetet. Här är en del av resultatet:
Se fler bilder på Flickr.
/Carolina, huvudredaktör webb
Nu finns ett ny video från utgrävningarna på Youtube. Du hittar även tv-inslaget på vår tv-kanal på Vimeo.
Urban has made a short list of some of our finds in the fill layer here at the Citybana excavation on Riddarholmen in the previous blog entry. However, in an effort to reach a wider audience (and as the project's native English speaker), the duty falls to me to translate and share our findings with English speakers/readers. Read on to take a peek at some of our early finds!
So far, our excavations have been through the backfill layers behind the old quay wall, built in the 1860s. The quay wall was built of old railroad ties (also called railway sleepers) with a series of vertical wooden piles set behind them as support. The free space inbetween was filled with rubble and sediment from nearby, which means a mixture of many different types of objects (by both type and age) are being found within.
The objects found so far include 18th century pottery, 17th century clay pipes, coal (probably from the many steam ships that operated around Stockholm) and brick and stone building materials ranging from the medieval period up to the 19th century.
One of the most ornate stone objects found so far is a carved lintel that looks like it may have sat above the fireplace of a stately home.
But of course we can't forget that the artifacts on site can stretch back even further in age. Today we found a lithic flake (a discarded section of stone from the stone tool making process). On the flake you can see the compression rings (the concentric curved lines emanating away from the top of the lithic in the picture) which were formed when the hammerstone struck and removed the flake from a larger flint core.
Stay tuned for more in the weeks to come!