July Pieces Of My Mind #1

I tried to call my son. No reply. I tried to call my boss. No reply. This must mean that I have no responsibilities until they call me. Learned from Melvyn Bragg’s programme today that Frederick the Great of Prussia was most likely gay and his brother, the exceptionally successful general Prince Henry, was openly…

I write these lines on the day after we backfilled the last two trenches at Landsjö, packed up our stuff, cleaned the manor house, hugged each other and went our separate ways. It’s an odd feeling to take apart the excavation machine while it still runs. It’s been four fun and successful weeks! Since my…

Like Stensö, Landsjö Castle has half of a rare perimeter wall and is known to have been owned by a descendant of Folke Jarl – or rather, by his daughter-in-law, the widow of such a descendant. Last year we found that the high inner bailey has a previously unseen southern wall with a square tower…

June Pieces Of My Mind #2

Archive finds strike me as a weak kind of empirical discovery. OK, so you’ve found a piece of writing that had been forgotten. Now you’re writing a paper about it. How long will it take before your paper is forgotten? When will it be found again, as an archive meta find? Or conversely: is any…

Balancing available labour and a pre-decided excavation agenda against each other is not easy, particularly when you’re doing investigative peek-hole fieldwork on a site whose depth and complexity of stratification you don’t know much about. At Stensö we had two of three trenches and all five test pits backfilled in time for Wednesday lunch’s on-site…

This year’s first week of fieldwork at Stensö Castle went exceptionally well, even though I drove a camper van belonging to a team member into a ditch. We’re a team of thirteen, four of whom took part in last year’s fieldwork at the site. All except me and co-director Ethan Aines are Umeå archaeology students.…

20 Years On The Web

I got access to email through the SöderKOM BBS in 1994. In early 1995 I got a dial-up connection to the Internet via Algonet, an ISP started by my childhood buddy Ragnar. And in June of that year I put up a web site. It was a hand-coded static HTML page. A clearly recognisable version…

June Pieces Of My Mind #1

Gotta love German. Try saying it out loud: “Die Beobachtung ferner Quasare, das holografische Prinzip und der Quantenschaum der Raumzeit”. Resolutely put away my phone in order to read a book instead. Then remembered that the book is in the phone. Ever wonder what the scarf-wearing Somali girls are going to do with their lives?…

Fornvännen’s Winter Issue On-line

Issue 2014:4 is now on-line on Open Access. Otto Blehr on Stone Age elk hunting in northern Sweden. Laila Kitzler Åhfeldt on the terminology used by 11th century rune masters to denote their own work. Pia Bengtsson Melin on High Medieval magic rings. Timo Salminen on a 20s & 30s debate over whether the Corded…

Weekend Fun

Here’s what I did for fun this weekend. Went to local bands night at Göta Källare (where I saw the Super Furry Animals and the Soundtrack Of Our Lives back in the day), saw two excellent acts: Slow Fat play soul and New Thing play funk. Went for a long bike ride with my wife,…