How do we dig?
Museum Lolland-Falster's archaeologists are
drilling for the past.
Museum Lolland-Falster applies completely new
Traditionally, archaeological investigations are carried out by
first digging long trial trenches in the area that will be
affected. The result provides an insight into the extent of
hitherto unknown ancient monuments, and it serves as an indicator
for the way in which subsequent investigations should be handled.
However, this method quickly proved useless in connection with the
excavations in the 187 hectares of reclaimed land east of
The trench quickly filled up with water in 2011, when Museum
Lolland-Falster attempted to dig traditional trial trenches.
Drilling for the past
In the autumn of 2011, Museum Lolland-Falster
attempted to follow the method described above. Due to the area's
high groundwater level, the trench filled up with 7,000 litres of
water within an hour, making it impossible and dangerous to work
in. Instead, the museum applied methods that were completely new on
Danish soil. In collaboration with Dutch drilling specialists, the
museum's archaeologists have carried out drilling to determine
where settlements may be located in the area. During the
preliminary investigations, more than 2,000 drillings were
conducted using auger drills and core drills in the large cultural
Auger drilling samples are examined for traces of
The drilling samples made it clear what soil types were found at
different depths; the ground was searched for finds, and it all
resulted in a model of the landscape, as it would have looked
before it was flooded by the sea. Selected areas within sheet-piled
boxes measuring 4 x 4 metres were then examined in order to detect
in situ ancient monuments and artefacts.
The 4 x 4 sheet-piled boxes were carefully
examined for antiquities. The boxes were driven into the ground to
keep water out of the area.
Combined, the many different phases of the preliminary
investigation have resulted in the setting up of a framework for
the areas that are to be excavated by traditional means.