Sweden Literally Throws Its Heritage Away

Faced with a broad array of ancient Viking artifacts, Swedish archaeologists take the only sensible option and… junk the surplus.

Ola Wong from Svenska Dagbladet reports:

“What you do is to waste our story!” says Johan Runer, archaeologist at Stockholm County Museum.

Amulet rings from the Iron Age, like Viking weights and coins, belong to the kind of bargain that, as far as Runer knows, was previously always saved.

He tried to make an alarm in a debate article in the journal Popular Archeology (No. 4/2016), showing how arbitrary thinning occurred. Especially in archeological studies before construction and road projects, the focus is on quickly and cheaply removing the heritage so that the machine tools can handle.”

“Thinning” is a process in which State Historical Museums deliberately place restrictions on excavations to discover new artifacts and go out of their way to reduce the number of artifacts currently housed. The reason for this is that metallic objects, such as amulet rings, require more upkeep compared to ceramics. The museums lack funds to maintain these artifacts, but also do not want to create competition in antique markets or encourage robbers with metal detectors.


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