The early days of the SVEG associations.

1982 – Participation and filming the excavation of the Fotevik Barrier. The following year the movie “Viking ship in Foteviken” could be seen for the first time.

1987 – A video documentation of the reconstructing of the Viking village at Hög in Käglinge, which continued throughout the year. We followed the construction of the two pit houses and the longhouse.

In connection with the 25th anniversary of the excavations of the five Viking ships at Skuldelev in the Roskilde fjord, they had collected a large amount of Viking ship replicas. These would sail through the Roskilde fjord to the Viking market in Roskilde. We were there, filming, sailed, rowed and lived the life of the Vikings. A 25 minutes long movie, the Viking ship in Roskilde, was the result of it.

 

The three people who founded SVEG: Birger, Jackie and Björn

1988 – A very early and cold spring weekend we stayed over in the long house in Hög and attended in the iron experiment, which resulted in the iron burning up.

The first warm spring day, sitting in the garden, working on a script, we decided to go on an expedition in the close by Falsterbo Museum, to study the Falsterboship which none of us had seen since our school years.
Its awful condition made us seriously concerned and a video documentary á la David Attenborough-style was being planned on location. This propaganda movie would be shown to get the authorities to contribute to the shipwreck so it could be rescued from its decay.


 

During the summer, the caravans were painted yellow and got the names SVEG I and II. These expedition rigs often went under the names of “The post carriage” and “the lemon” because of their yellow paint. A smaller boat was also purchased so that we could get water-borne – it got painted red and got the name SVEG III. Its maiden voyage went along the treacherous sandbanks outside Skanör, where out first marine archaeological studies were started the same year. We scanned the bottom to find our anchor that drifted away from us. It is, to this day, still hidden under the sand.

Before the summer ended, we travelled north to do an expedition at Helge stream and Skregrieborg. Again, we got the opportunity to try out our boat’s worthiness. The docent, Anders Ödman, invited us and a group of professional divers, which had been with us when we investigated Foteviken. It was a nice and pleasant reunion and we searched for both bridge foundations and pole barricades around the castle.
Plans were in the making, during the late night hours, to continue the search of wrecks around the Falsterbo Peninsula and examine the Knösen wreck, which had already been discovered in 1982.
The movie about the Falsterbo ship decay was ready. It had been shown to the board of Vellinge Municipality and it was warmly welcomed. They understood that something had to be done to save the wreck. We then suggested a maritime museum on the Falsterbo Peninsula, which the municipality thought was a good idea. It was only a matter of conditions – even if the municipality agreed to help, non-profit efforts would not be enough.

1989 – At a gettogether after the annual meeting at Falsterbo peninsula museum society with representatives from Malmö Maritime Museum it showed that the major problem with the maritime archaeological investigations around the Falsterbo peninsula was the lack of a raft. This was needed as a base for future investigations. We promised to look in to the possibilities of borrowing a raft.
However, the attempts to find an adequate raft, failed to succeed. The only solution was to do it ourselves. So, at a meeting with all who was interested of the maritime archaeology in the area, the twelve of them decided to build it together.
The hunting for sponsors began – iron beams, wooden material, paint etc. was collected on the backyard at ScanVision TV-studio in Malmö Harbour (where Björn Jakobsen worked).
The building of the raft had begun.

The four floating pontoon was transported to The Channel of Falsterbo, where the final engagement of the 9 x 5 metres big raft was done. The day before the industrial holiday, the launch took place with great ceremonies and the press being present.
The air-filled plastic tanks still lacked the polyurethane, which meant that when the air slowly went out of the tanks, the raft began to sink to the bottom of the sea. A quick exploit from all (now about 50) SVEG –members was made and the raft was taken to shallow waters. The air went out of the tanks, but also out of the project, and everyone went on holiday.
That summer four men and one woman was going to paddle from Travemünde to Trelleborg in a log boat. The expedition leader was Bengt Fredriksson, from the Prehistoric village at Frostavallen and the crew consisted mainly of some of the SVEG-members.
Björn’s newly purchased motor home became the escort (because the caravan had given under) and an important communication center.
The whole trip was escorted by Björn’s newly purchased motor home (the caravan had gone under) which acted as a communication central. The whole trip was documented on video. The last part of the trip could have ended in disaster. The log boat was missing on open waters between the cliffs of Stevns and the lighthouse of Falsterbo. The log boat was sighted just before dusk just outside of Måkläppen, but it was empty. It wasn’t until after the darkness had fallen, when the crew, after a foray, showed up at the local pizzeria.

The holiday had ended; the tanks were filled with polyurethane and the boat was now floating. The raft was provided with flooring, a cabin and railings. The baptism of the boat was conducted of the rafts godmother, the county administrative board’s cultural unity, Carin Bunte and other eminent guest was invited, such as the mayor of Vellinge - Göran Holm, the museum director of the maritime museum in Malmö – Per Ragnarsson, The museum director for Falsterbo Museum and a big amount of enthusiasts of the maritime archaeologists, locals and members of the association. All framed by the Vellinge orchestra and the royal navy.
Even if the autumn already had come, everyone was excited to get the raft in the water. With the marines and with the help Iernes fishing boat, towing her to Foteviken and dropped the anchor. The circle was closed. – We were only missing an important component, a diving boat. At The Falsterbo Canal, laid a worn out oil spill barge. The coastguard stood up and generously gave it to us. The barge was pulled in to Malmö and once again had Björn given the SVEG members something to do, during the weekends.

1990 – The Viking exhibition in Malmö and Florence. Björn and Birger were going to, with the former director for the museum in Malmö, Sven Rosborn (now scientifically responsible on Foteviken Museum) produce a dramatic slide show about the life of the Vikings, - the reception in Florence was a success.
When the spring came it was time for the raft and all the other boats and ships to be launched in to the Falsterbo Canal. The dive boat was equipped with a sponsored 70-horsepower Johnsons motor and the search for wrecks in the Falsterbo peninsula area could start.
We participated this year in a project called “Skåne runt” (around Scania), an investment of maritime relics on the coast of Skåne, initiated by “the institute for cultural researches”.
Our part was that in cooperation with the scholars from Lund, with the georadar search for the former Falsterbo city center, today buried 10 meters down in shifting sand.
The result was after much hard work in the summer heat, was satisfying. During the summer months, an expedition to Eketorp on the island of Öland was made to study how they built a reconstruction of a bole house.
The archaeological excavation in Trelleborg, traces of a circular fortress was revealed. In the past, four of these fortresses from Harald Bluetooth’s time had been found in Denmark. The entire excavation was documented by Björn Jakobsen in a unique way for years on video.

The SVEG association was ready to take the investigation seriously.
What wreck should we investigate first? We went out looking for the boat Knösen with the Iernes fishing boat on the late fall, which was in 1986, a subject for a minor investigation. Several hours of hard searching, finally paid off, the wreck of Knösen was found. It was decided that this would be our main effort the following years. Soon however, the unique find of the cog of Skanör would come to occupy the most of our time.