Archives for April, 2008

Fieldwork in Kimstad and Kaga

Frag of a brooch decorated with embossed silver foil. 5th century. Photograph Tobias Bondesson. Our site in Kimstad parish looked even better than I’d thought. This was one of many cases where I’ve come swooping in to sites that I’ve never visited before and directed metal detecting. In Kimstad, I had been attracted by Östergötland’s…

Frag of a lion-shaped badge with a rivet used to fix it to some surface. Photograph Tobias Bondesson. Another day of fruitful fieldwork, with friendly landowners and pretty good weather. We started out with 20 man-hours in the fields around a fortified hilltop settlement in Tingstad parish. The hillfort was trial-trenched in 1903, yielding the…

Polyhedrical weight. 9/10th century. Photograph Tobias Bondesson. (Martin here, posting from the hostel of Norsholm on the Göta canal, using my handheld and the cell phone network. To get the post on-line, my dear scibling Janet has kindly agreed to act as go-between.) Coin struck for Heinrich II, King of Germany. Mainz 1002-1014. Dbg 785.…

New genomic research by Matthias Obst of the Department of Zoology at the University of Gothenburg, due to be published in Nature on 10 April, shows that the oldest extant phylum among Earth’s animals is the ctenophores (Sw. kammaneter), not, as previously assumed, the sponges. Via Dagens Nyheter. [More blog entries about zoology, ctenophores, evolution;…

Here’s something cool. Norway spruce trees sprout from subterranean root systems, and though the actual trees come and go, the roots are extremely long-lived. In this they’re actually a lot like mushrooms. New research by Leif Kullman at the University of Umeå is just being reported on by the media. His team has studied spruce…

Last night’s Hayseed Dixie gig rocked. This is the bluegrass band playing metal songs that I blogged about recently. Me and Paddy K went there after checking out some stand-up comedy with the ladies. We had been given the wrong starting hour, so we arrived at the Debaser Slussen club in the middle of the…

The Austrian city of Salzburg has been hit by a measles outbreak among private-school children. Measles are no laughing matter, and thankfully outbreaks like these are rare in the West these days thanks to vaccination. So it comes as no surprise that the school in question is the Rudolf-Steiner-Schule in Mayrwies, a Waldorf school run…

[More blog entries about podcasting; podcasting, webbradio.] I’ve been laid low all day with a cold. To entertain myself while unable to read, I’ve listened to podcasts, and when I ran out of shows I subscribe to I started checking out Podcast Alley‘s top-10. Unfortunately, most people being morons after all, the top-10 aren’t any…

Mid-Career Academic

Reading some US job ads I came across the terms “early career”, “mid career” and “late career” applied to academics. As some of you may remember, I decided about this time last year that I had become officially middle-aged (defined as “closer to 50 than 20″). Now it’s struck me that I am also mid-career.…

Viking Period Scandinavians had a funny custom where they would bury silver hoards and not dig them out again. On Gotland, the hoards are so common that the local paper has been known to note tersely that “this year’s hoard has been found”. But not all Swedish provinces are similarly endowed. My native area around…