The first excavations at Uppåkra took place in 1934. While workmen were preparing the foundation for a house, they discovered cultural layers, several metres thick, with traces of the inhabitants who had lived there for generations. For many years Uppåkra had a somewhat mythic status among archaeologists. It was not until 1996 that the place became a focus for archaeological research. In other words, the place remained unexamined for 60 years, even though researchers suspected that something quite extensive and very exciting was buried here.
The interest among archaeologists in societal development during the Swedish Iron Age grew at the end of the last century. However, one largely neglected southern Sweden in this regard. It was archaeologists at Lund University, in cooperation with the Malmö municipality’s department for culture and the Swedish National Heritage Board’s office in Lund, who took the initiative to shed light on the Iron Age in southern Sweden.
In the year 2000 the excavations received a generous grant from the Tetra Pak corporation in Lund, which facilitated a five-year dig project. Since 2005 the excavations have become reduced in scope and been pursued by so-called seminar excavations for educational purposes for students in archaeology and in ancient history at Lund University.