Strandholm - RGS 90

Strandholm _1

The field by Strandholm with the wind farm and Syltholm in the background


Since August 2013, archaeologists from Museum Lolland-Falster have been conducting an archaeological preliminary investigation in a field near Strandholm, approx. 1.5 km east of Rødbyhavn. The preliminary study is being carried out ahead of a comprehensive construction work, where RGS90 is to have a new soil processing plant built.


The archaeological preliminary investigation has been conducted in a quite traditional manner, i.e. with long, straight trial trenches. However, quite a lot of worked flint has previously been gathered in the field, several ploughed-down burial mounds have been registered, and there are even lamentable remains of a destroyed and ploughed-down long barrow. As none of the mounds are visible anymore, the locality now has the immediate appearance of a quite flat and ordinary cultivated field. However, by closer inspection it is still possible to detect vague elevation differences in the terrain, which helps give the impression of the more varied landscape of the past. The Strandholm locality is located on a headland that is only slightly higher than and roughly in parallel to the coastline of the 1800s.


Strandholm _2

Overview map


In connection with the preliminary investigation, several interesting objects have turned up. The Neolithic Age in particular is represented by a large number of burials or pits with flint tools and pottery fragments, as well as postholes that could be remains from Neolithic farmers' wooden houses. Several of the pottery fragments that have been found in the pits are quite delicately ornamented/decorated. The way in which pottery is decorated is very specific to the different periods, which is why we can say so far that a lot of the activity on this site took place around 3400 BC and later.


Strandholm _3

Pottery find from the Neolithic Age (the funnel beaker culture)


Traces have also been found that may be remnants of burials. Some of these may stem from the Neolithic Age, while others may prove to be much later, possibly from the Iron Age. In connection with several of the graves it seems that different activities and rituals have taken place on this site in subsequent periods.


One example is that numerous so-called cooking pits (fireplaces dug in the ground and filled with heated stones) have been built right next to and around the graves. This applies not only to those graves that would probably have been covered by small mounds, but also to the natural elevation in the landscape where the long barrow was found. Exactly what role the cooking pits played is not known yet, but it is quite likely that they would have served a religious or cultic purpose.


Strandholm _4

Trial trench full of cooking pits


Even after the graves had been built and the dead had been laid to rest, this specific area with its numerous graves - but maybe also due to its position in relation to the coast - seemingly held great significance for the people who lived and worked in the surrounding areas.


Strandholm _5

One of the possible graves


The surrounding areas are immensely interesting in this context. Here, the ongoing investigations ahead of the construction of the permanent Fehmarn link show, among other things, that the Stone Age coastline east of Rødbyhavn (Syltholm) was a centre for extensive activities through several millennia. Among the finds are remarkably well-preserved fishing grounds, which must reflect quite well-organised Stone Age communities' exploitation of the rich coastal resources. We already know by now that there are several overlaps in dating from Strandholm and Syltholm, and the distance between the two areas is so small that the same people must have been active in both areas.


One of the very interesting perspectives for the museum's archaeological investigations will, no doubt, be to look at both the differences and the possible connections between the two areas. Strandholm a little inland, and Syltholm by the coast.