In 2005, I helped Dr Martin Rundkvist dig a boat-grave at Skamby, Östergötland, Sweden. It was the longest summer I have spent in Sweden: I was there with students for c. 8 weeks.

Looking back, tractors were key in the field season in 3 ways.


First, we requisitioned the help of the local farmer to use his John Deere tractor and grabber to help us remove the larger stones from the setting covering the boat inhumation.

Rock removal via tractor!
Martin and the tractor

Second we encountered a very cool abandoned chapter near a rock art site on the Vikbolandet peninsula.

Rock art tractors

Third, we required the local farmer and his tractor to drag our people carrier out of a ditch after a lapse in my otherwise efficient driving between the dig site and our accommodation…

Why is this relevant to this blog? Well, tractors assist archaeologists, and tractors become archaeology. I’ve discussed the contemporary archaeology of tractors and other abandoned farm machinery encounters before on this blog, as in here. Moreover, and quite simply, tractors are cool!