Two stove tiles from this summer`s excavations

NEWS | Published: 2.9.2021

Stove tiles are interesting archaeological finds. In addition to the interior design of residential buildings, they tell about the fashion and ideological phenomena of their era. Several fragments of stove tiles have been found on our archaeological excavations this summer.

In the Middle ages, tile stoves spread also to Finland as a novelty. The earliest stoves consisted of simple vessel tiles but they quickly developed into more decorative forms.

Stove tiles in the late Middle ages usually portrayed religious motifs such as Christ or catholic saints. Some of the motifs were symbolic. The first tile is a niche tile that features most likely a pelican feeding her young with her own blood. The pelican symbolized Christ who shed his blood for mankind. The tile dates to the 15th or early 16th century.

The other find is a piece of a Renaissance stove tile still features remains of green glaze and the letters HAN[--]. It can be recognised as the portrait of Johann Friedrich, Elector of Saxony (1503–1554), an early supporter of Protestant Reformation. Using this particular portrait on a stove in Turku might have been a political statement or just a fashion choice.

Pelikaaniaiheisen nissikaakelin pala
Nissikaakelissa on luultavasti ollut pelikaaniaihe. Kuva: Jari Nieminen / AVAN
Pelikaanikaakelilöytö Åbo Akademin kaivauksilta
1990-luvulla Åbo Akademin tontin kaivauksilta löytynyt pelikaaniaiheinen kaakeli kuuluu Turun museokeskuksen kokoelmiin. Kuva: Kirsi Majantie
Renessanssikaakelin pala
Kaivauksilta löytyneessä renessanssikaakelin palassa voi yhä erottaa kirjaimet HAN. Kuva: Jari Nieminen /AVAN
Ehjän renessanssikaakelin kuva
Turun linnasta löytyneestä ehjästä kaakelista erottaa vaaliruhtinas Johann Friedrichin muotokuvan ja sitä kiertävän tekstin. Esine kuulu Turun museokeskuksen kokoelmiin. Kuva: Kirsi Majantie