Viking Period Barrow Report On-Line

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As detailed before (here and here) I did a trial dig with friends in an undated great barrow near Sjögestad church in Östergötland last September. We secured samples that allowed radiocarbon dating to the Early Viking Period (9th century) and the identification of several plant species in small hearths that had been lit on the barrow as it was being erected.

I filed the excavation report the other day, and it is now available on-line in Swedish for all to read. Check it out! If anything’s hard to understand, don’t be afraid to ask.

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  1. #1 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    February 21, 2007

    What’s the distinction between a great barrow and a not-so-great barrow?

  2. #2 Martin R
    February 21, 2007

    I don’t think the distinction really exists in British archaeological English. In Sweden, mounds are divided by diameter into three types just to make it easier to talk about them.

    1. Mound, hög. Diameter up to 15 m. Very common.

    2. Great barrow, storhög. Diameter 15-30 m.

    3. Royal barrow, kungshög. Diameter over 30 m. Very rare.

  3. #3 paddy
    February 22, 2007

    Totally off the point, but interesting nevertheless: maybe you’ve seen this already, but new ancient tombs have been found in Egypt:

    And, talking of Egyptian tombs, do you happen to know if a second attempt was made with sending that little robot up the shaft in the Cheops pyramid? I can’t find anything on the web about it, and I thought you might be the man to ask…

  4. #4 Martin R
    February 22, 2007

    Ahem. It’s always really embarrassing for me to get these questions. I mean, ask a physicist about gravity or atoms, and she’ll know, right? And an archaeologist who knows nothing about Egypt and the pyramids is of course like a physicist who knows nothing about gravity or atoms.

    But here’s the ugly truth: most archaeologists know nothing whatsoever about Egypt. Because archaeology is not one discipline: it’s one discipline for each county-sized piece of land on Earth. And you can do fairly well at archaeology in your home county without knowing much about what it’s like two counties away.

    Now, did you hear about the Medieval seal matrix they found near Linköping not long ago? (-;

  5. #5 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    February 22, 2007

    No, but I’m sure it would make a great post if you could get some pictures.

  6. #6 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    February 22, 2007

    Here’s a seal matrix from Shropshire which surfaced in 2006.

    “SERVITE DOMINO IN TIMORE” – sounds like a real nice guy.

  7. #7 Martin R
    February 23, 2007

    I did snap a few pix of the seal matrix. I’ll write something about it once I’ve had time to talk to the State Herald (!) who, I hear, has seen the thing and can tell me something about what kind of person has owned it.

    The Shropshire find is beautiful! Even though I’m not working with the High Middle Ages, I’d be thrilled to find something like that the next time I go out metal detecting.

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