The grave on Orust is from the Stone Age.
Photo: Bettina Schulz Paulsson

Stone Age grave on Orust excavated by archaeologists


Archaeologists from the University of Gothenburg conducted an excavation on the island of Orust, north of Gothenburg, in May. Bettina Schulz Paulsson is an associate professor of archaeology and the researcher in charge of the excavation.

Can you tell us more about the excavation?

"We are excavating a megalithic tomb on Orust, which is about 5500 years old and located at the former sea edge, as part of my ERC project NEOSEA and the doctoral project Megabo by Roger Cederberg. For these projects, we are investigating cultural exchange and the sea routes across the Kattegat, as well as the Stone Age coastal environment and the conditions on Orust at that time. The project is also an international exchange with French megalith experts from the University of Nantes, Jean Noel Guyodo och Audrey Blanchard." 

What do you hope to find on Orust?

"We hope to find datable material, interesting architecture, and good conditions for the preservation of environmental DNA. The many finds we have made so far are, of course, also nice. But above all, it is remarkable that we have found evidence of older hunter-gatherer settlements, i.e., continuity in the use of the site."

Students from the University of Gothenburg are also taking part in the excavation.
Photo: Bettina Schulz Paulsson

What impact could the excavation findings have on research?

"We will learn more about the life of the Stone Age populations on Orust, their regional networks, as well as the environment at that time and how it has changed since then. This gives us the opportunity to, for example, model climatic changes or get clues about extinct or decimated species."

In addition to researchers and archaeologists from the University of Gothenburg and the French Nantes University, students from the archaeology program at the University of Gothenburg are also involved in the excavation.

Text: Cecilia Sjöberg