Archives for October, 2007

The Star of Al-Qaeda

Here’s something I’ve been wondering about. Anybody know Arabic historical linguistics? Al-qaeda is Arabic for “the base, basis, foundation, military base”. Alkaid is the Arabic name for Eta Ursae Majoris, a star in the Big Dipper. It’s short for al-qaid al-banat an-nac, meaning “the leader of the daughters of the bier”, because the three stars…

Blog Carnival Call for Submissions

Wednesday 10 October will see the Four Stone Hearth blog carnival appear in all its archaeo/anthro glory at Remote Central. If you have read or blogged anything good on those themes lately, then make sure to submit it to Tim ASAP. (You are encouraged to submit stuff you’ve found on other people’s blogs.) There’s an…

Internet Public Perception of Sword Find

Monday’s entry about the Djurhamn sword rocketed up the lists at the social bookmarking sites, and so Wednesday became the best day for traffic ever here at Aard. On an average day in the third quarter of this year, the blog saw about 650 unique visitors. For Wednesday, the number was 52,200. Someone to whom…

Three Good Albums

Three good albums, listened to in the car when driving to & fro the Djurhamn dig. Silverbullit, Arclight (2004). This is dark and Gothamesque rock, sort of the Cure + the Stooges + Kraftwerk. The band searched high and low until they found a drummer who could and would play like a drum machine. One…

I’m thinking maybe it isn’t worth the effort to keep the Good Books and Good Albums lists going in the left-hand column. Better to put that effort into writing more blog entries about books and albums? Dear Reader, if you’re a regular and would miss the lists, please say so in a comment.

Mistranslations of the Third Kind

Over at David Nessle‘s, his witty readers are discussing translations — more particularly, bad translations. I collect crap translations from English to Swedish, so I decided to offer some to you, Dear Reader. To make this palatable to non-Swedish-speakers, I’ll add a second step to explain what the Swedish mistranslation means literally in each case.…

Medieval Soapstone Quarry

On the excursion during the Sachsensymposium in Trondheim last month we visited Slipsteinsberget (“Grindstone Hill”). Not only did we visit the place, but the entire conference (some of whose participants were in their 70s) climbed around the whole hill (rain-sodden, wooded and steep) like mountain goats. Our guide was the charming Bodil Østerås, head of…

Djurhamn Fieldwork Mopup

Today we finished fieldwork at the find spot of the sword I wrote about yesterday. Sieved 5 sqm without a single non-recent find, but the only way to know is to sieve. My dad came out with a pulley and removed the hazel stump that had been sitting on the sword, so we’re pretty damn…

Djurhamn Sword Excavated

Happy Djurhamn project co-directors Katarina Schoerner and August Boj. Aided by many volunteers and using tools borrowed from my dad and the Stockholm County Museum, I’ve spent the day getting the Djurhamn sword out of the ground. I found the sword on 30 August while metal detecting around the Harbour of the Sheaf Kings. Today…