In an an artist’s CV, you’ll read what museums own pieces of their work and what galleries have shown their exhibitions. A field archaeologist keeps no such list, but we sure keep track in our heads of when our finds get exhibited. Because to any scholar who wants to communicate with the public, it is a source of pride to have uncovered something that people are actually interested in. Most archaeological finds are of course unexhibitable drab fragments, but we love them anyway for their scientific potential. Still, every now and then something pops up that you know is going to be able to speak directly to the public.
The Skamby gaming pieces are shown in the County Museum in Linköping, placed on a reconstructed gaming board. Under the pieces are little holes that allows fibre-optic wires to light each chunk of amber from below. They glowed like embers when I was there a few weeks ago, and I was very proud.
Earlier tonight I had the pleasure of taking part in opening night for the new exhibition on Swedish history in the Museum of National Antiquities. Meeting colleagues, making new acquaintances and mingling with celebs was very nice. And so was being guided through the exhibition by my friend Linda Wåhlander (though she had to lead us through all ten rooms in only 20 minutes.) But best of all was seeing the Djurhamn sword exhibited in the 16th century room alongside a full-figure portrait of Mad King Eric XIV.
For at least the next five years I’ve got a find in a major exhibition in the country’s main archaeological museum, an institution that I consider to be my alma mater. Happy digger! All Aard readers are encouraged to check out the exhibition if you find yourselves in Stockholm.