Discovery of the Week week 31

NEWS | Published: 27.7.2009

Nutshells


For this week´s discovery, nutshells found in the excavations are selected. Nutshells are very typical findings in the urban excavations. These are shells of hazelnuts of the European hazel. European hazel grows also nowadays in south-western Finland but, in the Middle Ages, it was much more common here. In those days, Turku was surrounded by the richest hazel grove of the whole country.
Preserved organic remains found in archaeological excavations are called macrofossils. Nutshells are quite big as macrofossils and are often found in the normal sieving of the soil. The soil preserves also many other organic remains, e.g. seeds, stems, leaves and grains. For this reason, soil samples are taken in excavations so that researchers of macrofossils can search and identify organic remains with a microscope. These remains give the researchers new information about the flora of a medieval town.