Locality 08 (Arendal)

Passing through the old cemetery connected to the wooden Hisøy church, the ruins of an abandoned hut are visible from the road. Climbing a stone wall from the road, we moved through a small vegetative plateau, registering two artefacts possibly connected with the ruins: two transparent plastic jars, one containing the image of a pineapple. Other remains of activity were also found within the area, including rope and planks clinging on to weather-worn tree trunks.

More omnious was the discovery of what may have been an opened tomb somewhat outside the area of the present cemetery. Measuring around 2,5x1,5 metres, a 0,5 m deep coffin-shaped depression in the stony ground was partially covered in foliage, making it easy to stumble into at night time. However, it was impossible to tell whence it had been exhumated. Supposedly, there may have been a church on the island since the middle ages, although it is unclear whether it was placed at the site of the present church. In any event, the discovery of the open tomb left the expedition crew apprehensive, and a discussion ensued on whether or not we should continue the climb towards the scattered ruins on top of the small hill.

Parts of the expedition setting up a temporary base camp at the vegetative plateau, the rest pushed on to make it up the hill before sunset. Half way up, a rope dangling from a tree down into the cemetery far below, may have provided a prior access point to the site, although it must indeed have been an arduous climb. Losing one's grip, one was sure to plunge into the abyss, leaving another corpse to be cared for at the cemetery.

The ruins themselves revealed no indication of the form or function of the site, but the composite character of the material, as well as the registration of the mentioned artefacts in the area, suggested that the site had once been a flourishing society of children. From the hill, the road towards Havsøy was clearly visible, indicating the strategic importance of the site. It was suggested by members of the expedition that the proximity to the unopened tomb may have contributed to the choice of abandoning the site, but it is unclear whether it was actually abandoned or destroyed by a hostile group. At this point, it is all conjecture.

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