Archaeological excavations

Aboa Vetus (Old Turku) is the side of the museum focusing on archaeology and history. The ruins excavated in the Convent Quarter originate from the Middle Ages. In the midst of these ruins, museum visitors progress through the permanent exhibition, which focuses on the 15th century. The artefacts on display originate from the excavations carried out in the town quarter where the museum actually sits.

The east side of the centre of Turku is the town's oldest district, the quarters of which are the Cathedral Quarter and the Convent Quarter. In the Middle Ages, the area was a bustling centre of administrative, commercial and ecclesiastical life. The town's residential areas were also concentrated on the east bank of the river. This medieval district is one of the country's most historically significant areas, the stratification of which is fascinating and uniquely rich.

The Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Museum and the foundation that maintains it have been active in researching the Convent Quarter and the whole Rettig plot of land since the 1990s. In Aboa Vetus, museum visitors have the opportunity to walk through the Middle Ages and also to see how research is being carried out.

The aim of the museum is to continue excavations in the area of the museum every year. Through the discoveries made, it is possible to gain new information about life in this very area hundreds of years ago. At the moment, archaeological excavations focus on the other side of the museum plot, outside the actual museum space, where new ruins dating to the Middle ages have been discovered.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS IN COLLABORATION WITH THE PUBLIC

New information about the town of the past and its residents is constantly being discovered. During the summer 2022, archaeological excavations in the museum courtyard will continue.

You can take part in a museum course and get to dig by yourself, or you can attend a meet an archaeologist session, or if you prefer, you can just sit back and observe the excavation work from your café table. The most recent archaeological findings are displayed in the museum’s lobby. Aboa Vetus Ars Nova is currently revamping its archaeological activities in collaboration with the public.

Even the smallest finds can tell interesting things about life in the past.
Even the smallest finds can tell interesting things about life in the past.
Aboa Vetus Ars Nova offers short introductory courses to archaeology for children and adults.
Aboa Vetus Ars Nova offers short introductory courses to archaeology for children and adults.
Aboa Vetus Ars Novas newest excavation area is in the museum’s courtyard, which had remained untouched since the large-scale excavation project that preceded the museum’s founding in 1992–95.
Aboa Vetus Ars Novas newest excavation area is in the museum’s courtyard, which had remained untouched since the large-scale excavation project that preceded the museum’s founding in 1992–95.
You are welcome to visit the excavation whenever the archaeologists are at work! Our archaeologists happily share the latest discoveries and give you a tour of the excavation area.
You are welcome to visit the excavation whenever the archaeologists are at work! Our archaeologists happily share the latest discoveries and give you a tour of the excavation area.
Some significant archaeological findings are made by the museum-going public. Presented here in the foreground is a book clasp from the Late Middle Ages (15th to 16th century). The clasp was discovered by a preschooler visiting the museum’s excavation area. Archaeologists were quick to identify the object.  The clasp was originally used with a strap to hold a book’s covers closed. This kept the thick pages of parchment from crinkling.
Some significant archaeological findings are made by the museum-going public. Presented here in the foreground is a book clasp from the Late Middle Ages (15th to 16th century). The clasp was discovered by a preschooler visiting the museum’s excavation area. Archaeologists were quick to identify the object. The clasp was originally used with a strap to hold a book’s covers closed. This kept the thick pages of parchment from crinkling.
A shoe made for a child out of cowhide. Good shoes made by a shoemaker have always been of great value.
A shoe made for a child out of cowhide. Good shoes made by a shoemaker have always been of great value.