Denmark: Sorte Muld – Institute for Field Research

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Location: Rønnevej 36, 3720 Aakirkeby, Denmark

Season: May 29, 2022 to June 25, 2022

Application Deadline: June 1, 2020

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Bornholms Museum, Connecticut College, Institute for Field Research

Project Director:
Dr. Nicolás Caretta & Dr. Finn Ole Nielsen

Project Description:

Sorte Muld, meaning black soil, is located in the Island of Bornholm, Denmark and has been referred to as “the field of gold” by medieval scholars because of the findings made there since early periods. Sorte Muld, is perhaps, the finest Iron Age – Early Viking settlement in Denmark and includes traces of settlements from c. 100 BC to AD 1000. The finds already made at the site and the area of the settlement still remaining in the countryside require scientific work. The purpose of research is to establish a general perspective on Sorte Muld and to make the history and the fines discovered at the site accessible to the public as well as to pave the way for the conservation of the site. This project seeks to understand the architectural pattern and use of a long house located near the main temple during the Early Viking Age.

The primary excavation carried out at the site focuses on the main period of occupation, but this particular excavation aims to seek more detailed answers to general questions regarding the Baltic and North European aspects during the Early Viking Age:

  • What was the importance of the site in the region during the Early Viking occupation?
  • How did they use and/or modify the previous Iron Age settlement pattern?
  • What is the relation of the long house to the main temple?
  • How did the Viking society residing in Sorte Muld function and develop and what did their everyday life look like?

Our goal is not only to explore the richness of the archaeological material found at the site, but also to study the history of the Early Viking occupation after the height of the site during the Iron Age.

Period(s) of Occupation: Viking Period/ Medieval Period

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Participants are required to stay for the full duration of the field school.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No experience required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
The guest house is in the city of Åkirkeby in Bornholm. It has been adaptedinto comfortable cabins with beds (bathrooms with shower, WC, and heating system) in the guest house, which also provides free Wi-Fi. Participants are expected to bring sleeping bags and personal towels. Students will share a room based on gender and room size. Food is not included within the program due to the high cost involved to hire a cook or catering service. The house is, however, properly furnished with all the cooking appliances and refrigerators, so students can share the tasks of doing the shopping and cooking their own meals at a lower price. In the city, there are several options of places where food can be bought for affordable prices (approx. 15 to 20 US dollars). Food stores are within a walking distance from the guest house.

Academic Credit:
8 semester academic credit units from Connecticut College. Tuition is $3,960.

Contact Information:

Institute for Field Research

1855 Industrial St. Unit 106

Los Angeles



United States

Phone: 424-209-1173

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