Archives for February, 2009

Bohuslän province on the west coast of Sweden is known internationally for its many and varied Bronze Age rock art sites. But its archaeology is rich regardless of what period you look at. My maternal great-granddad’s people came from Tanum and Kville parishes, so I’m sort of a Bohuslän aborigine. The discovery of a Medieval…

Making the Archaeological Record

A central theme in post-modernist archaeology of the more science-friendly, not radically relativist kind for the past 20 years has been the study of the after-life of monuments, or “the past in the past”. Archaeologists are of course keenly interested in the archaeological record, and I think there’s a reasonable argument for studies of how…

Early Archaeological Darwinism

To celebrate Charles Darwin’s bicentennial, Dear Reader, let me tell you about a less well-known way in which his great idea was misunderstood or misappropriated. You may have heard of social Darwinism and eugenics. The former took Darwin’s description of long-term biological change and applied it as a prescriptive excuse for not showing compassion to…

Anthro Blog Carnival

The sixtieth Four Stone Hearth blog carnival is on-line at Middle Savagery. Catch the best recent blogging on archaeology and anthropology! Submissions for the next carnival will be sent to me. The next open hosting slot is on 11 March. All bloggers with an interest in the subject are welcome to volunteer to me for…

The University of Helsinki has something called a Collegium for Advanced Studies, whose aims are: to enhance scholarly excellence within humanities and social sciences; to endorse dialogue between different academic orientations; to provide an innovative environment for concentrated study; to encourage theoretical and methodological reflection in research; to promote international visibility of Finnish research and…

The Stockholm County Museum has just put my report on last summer’s fieldwork at Djurhamn on-line (in Swedish). As you may remember, I blogged about it at the time (here, here and here). The results were actually a bit of a let-down after the sword I found in ’07.

Ola Wikander and Fictional Beings

On Saturday night I attended a talk by bright young philology and religion studies comet Ola Wikander. In 2003, at age 22, he published a Swedish translation of the Baal cycle and other Canaanite mythological matter for the lay reader. In the five years since then, he’s done the Enuma Elish, the Chaldaean oracles, an…

Standing in line to board the jet to Sweden yesterday, I read over a woman’s shoulder in Times Higher Education that ERIH, the European Reference Index for the Humanities, is scrapping its A-B-C-nil grading system (previously discussed here in October). It’s come under heavy fire because of the fundamental differences between the natural sciences and…

Past Crimes

Chester library has two thematic fiction sections that I’ve never seen at Swedish libraries. One offers historical fiction. The other, also quite large, is all mystery novels set in the distant past — labelled “Past Crimes”.

Field Trips in Snowy Wales

The Pillar of Eliseg, being the remains of an inscribed 9th century cross, sitting on a barrow of probable Early Bronze Age date. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday with Howard and his students on field trips into north-east Wales and back across the border into Cheshire and Shropshire. I got to see the area under…