Modern conflict archaeologies and dark heritages


  • Oula Seitsonen
  • Suzie Thomas


In this article we reflect upon the development of conflict archaeology, especially in Finland, as well as the even more recent emergence of dark heritage as a field of academic enquiry. We trace how research at the University of Helsinki has influenced these fields both nationally and internationally, and draw parallels with current events including populism and (ultra) nationalist identities. Within the context of Finland, research on past conflicts especially of the Twentieth Century and especially within the Indigenous North, offer opportunity also to shine a light on important and often neglected debates on and experiences of Finnish coloniality. Since the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, debates and popular media in Finland has also started to draw parallels with the Finnish experience of Soviet warfare in the Second World War, showing that the past, especially that involving conflict and trauma, is never too far away from contemporary life.