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No 14 / 42

The churches of Åland

Date: 1.1.1990-
Code: 2191
Department: Åbo Akademi University / Faculty of Arts (HF), Dept. of Art History
Address: Nunnegatan 4, FIN-20520 Åbo
Phone +358-2-2154 336
Fax +358-2-2154 661
E-mail asa.ringbom@abo.fi
Project leader: FD Åsa Ringbom, docent (1.1.1990-)
Researchers: FL Alf Lindroos (1.1.1994-)
FK Gerhard Hakkarainen (1.1.1993-)
FD Thorborg von Konow (1.1.1994-)
Type of research: 0 (0=Within duty, 1=Ordered research, 2=Co-operation)
- basic research 34 %
- applied research 33 %
- developmental work 33 %
ŇA internal financing: FIM 137075
Finnish funding organizations: Finlands Akademi () FIM 2056700
Ålands Landskapsstyrelse () FIM 80000
Man months: Totally: 16 months
Partners: Laboratoriet för radioaktiv datering, Helsingfors universitet; Acceleratorlaboratoriet, Åbo Akademi; Århus universitet, fysikaliska institutionen
Keywords: kyrkobyggnader, Åland, datering, kirkkorakennukset, Ahvenanmaa, iänmääritys, kyrkor, Åland, medeltid, naturvetenskaplig datering, arkitektur, churches, The Åland Islands, scientific dating, architecture,

The aim of the project is correctly to describe, analyze and date the medieval churches of the Åland Islands, since correctly understood they, together with their inventory, their wallpaintings and their sculptures, they form the key to interpreting the controversial medieval period in the northern Baltic region. -Method: Since written sources are rare and dating based on style is both subjective and uncertain, the project relies heavily on objective scientific methods for dating.We use dendrocronology, termoluminescence, and radioactive dating of wood and mortar.Wood of sprude and pine is often replaced and repaired, and this means that you cannot reach the age of the building of a stone church using traditional dendrocronology or C 14 of wood.This is why we have implemented, and as pioneers, developed the method of dating mortar, which seams to be the only way to date the construction of a stone building.In order to gain increased accuracy, the mortar samples are nowadays analyzed in an accelerator, in the University of Aarhus, Denmark.Furthermore, each sample is carefully analyzed both chemically and geologically, in order to trace possible errors.


11.3.1996 / 5.3.1998