Archives for February, 2007

Viking Period Amber Gaming Pieces

The other day, I collected the larger finds from 2005’s boat grave excavations at the conservator’s studio. Among them are 23 amber gaming pieces, of which I have now taken nice photographs. The pieces’ median dimensions are about 35 by 24 mm.

New Apples in Stereo Album

Robert Schneider, one of my favourite neopsychedelic musicians, has a new album out, this time with his main band again, The Apples in Stereo. His previous album Expo was issued in 2005 with The Marbles and is an excellent synth-driven yet lo-fi effort. Before that he did two non-psych albums in 2005 (with Ulysses) and…

Winter Dig Blues

A buddy of mine sent me a reminder today of why I am happy to not be a contract archaeologist. It’s twelve below zero centigrade around here, and still a number of unfortunate Linköping colleagues are out digging. And they’re not digging Tut-ankh-amen’s tomb today either: apparently they’ve been assigned the task of excavating and…

Village of Shame and Honour

In recent years I’ve been involved in some archaeological fieldwork at Skamby in Kuddby parish, Östergötland, Sweden. I like to get a handle on the names of places where I work, what they mean, how they used to be pronounced in the Middle Ages. I was particularly interested in learning about Skamby, because read in…

Mooney & Sokal

Here‘s a must-read for anyone interested in the integrity of science, in the face both of post-modern hyperrelativism and of politically motivated distortion. It’s a succinct op-ed in the L.A. Times co-written by Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science, and Alan Sokal, the man who killed pretentious post-modernism with his 1996 hoax…

Narrow-Gauge Mind

Many people who excel at something do so by concentrating on a few tightly defined areas of interest. A colleague of mine once explained to me that she has a narrow-gauge mind (Sw. smalspårig). I like that expression a lot: this woman hasn’t got a one-track mind (Sw. enkelspårig), nor a narrow mind, it’s just…

My Parental M.O.

I love my kids and a lot of that affection spills over on their friends as well. But I’m not the kind of dad who finds children’s games very entertaining. I rarely even pretend to enjoy them. In my opinion, the best baby sitter is another child of about the same age.

Carnival of the Godless 59

Dear Cultists, welcome to the Temple of Godlessness that is Aardvarchaeology. I will be your High Priest this evening, introducing the latest and greatest blog writing on the subject of Above Us Only Sky. Sisters and brothers, let us pray.

La Grange

For about a week, the relentless riff from ZZ Top’s 1973 hit song “La Grange” has been playing in my head. Such a great, great song, not least the powerful and exact drumming. And the vocals are really funny, with the singer sounding like a right old lecher. So I got the album, Tres Hombres,…

What’s Ailing Grandpa Surisvatay?

With mounting frustration, I’m watching an attempt to secure adequate health care for an elderly relative turn into something that looks a lot like a failed foreign aid project.