Our project will focus on archaeological finds from previously conducted excavations. Artefacts will be studied with up-to-date methods like XRF, ICP-MS and SEM. When necessary, additional material could be found in new field surveys and small-scale test excavations.

Soil samples are sieved for osteological and archaeobotanical analyses. Radiocarbon (AMS) dates will be applied to put the strongholds into a chronological order. Systematic comparison of finds will be done at international level and according to artefact typologies. In addition to the archaeological record, written sources will be reanalyzed too. At sites where ruins are preserved to our days, it is possible to locate fortification remains and make a map of the ruins both above and beneath of the surface. Geophysics, laser scanning and aerial photography are cost-effective and non-destructive methods when finding new information. Even if our focus is on the castles, the surrounding settlements and landscapes will not be neglected, either.

The outcome of the project will be a better understanding medieval politics in the area. This allows further discussion about the diversification and consolidation of values in northern Europe during the time when the Swedish Crown and the Grand Duchy of Moscow contributed to the worldview. Today’s political and cultural entity called Finland is the result of these complicate historical processes. On the other hand, a cultural division between Eastern and Western Finland exists until today.