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26 October 2008
Swedish archaeologists find Iron Age wooden artifacts

A team of archaeologists digging near the planned expansion of a roadway have uncovered 1,700 year old artifacts made of wood, making them some of the oldest man-made wooden objects over discovered in Sweden. The find was made near Älvängen in western Sweden and provides additional clues about how farmers in the region lived during the Iron Age.
     "We've found hundreds of wooden objects, including a wooden wheel. We're coming much closer to the people of the Iron Age [with this find]; we're really getting up close and personal," said Bengt Nordqvist, an archaeologist from the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) to the TT news agency. Archaeologists began exploring the area in connection with plans by the Swedish Road Administration (Vägverket) to expand a section of the E45 roadway. The area once served as the only waterway connecting the sea to a system of inland lakes make up present day Lake Vänern, one of Sweden's largest lakes. As a result, it has attracted settlers and traders from the Stone Age right up to modern times, according to the board.
     The wooden artifacts were found buried in damp and oxygen-deprived clay and have required archaeologists to take extra steps to ensure their finds can be properly preserved once removed from their muddy surroundings. Additional digs just to the north include an excavation of remains from the Bronze Age and another which covers settlements from the latter part of the early Stone Age.

Source: The Local (23 October 2008)

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