Archives for September, 2010

Bronze Age Talk on Saturday

I’m giving a talk at the Stockholm County Museum in Sickla, Saturday at two o’clock, as part of a day seminar. The subject will be my on-going research into Bronze Age sacrificial sites, where I collaborate with the museum on fieldwork. Aard readers are welcome: just tell the organisers that I’m your estranged dad. And…

Hobbit Continuity Error

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his three main books in the order their contents happen in his fantasy world. But they weren’t published in that order. Young Tolkien writes the various component works of The Silmarillion, middle-aged Tolkien writes and publishes The Hobbit, old Tolkien writes and publishes The Lord of the Rings, then his son Christopher…

Saint Paul Never Read the Bible

We interrupt this transmission for a piece of Christian chronology. Did you know that the Epistles of Saint Paul are the oldest writings in the New Testament? Did you know that Mark, the oldest of the Gospels, was written just about the time of Paul’s execution in AD 64/65? Though Mark had worked as a…

Synthesiser Mind-Meld

Apples in Stereo mastermind Robert Schneider demonstrates his latest technical combo: a vintage 80s synthesizer hooked up to a recently released EEG game controller, which allows him to change the pitch of the synth’s output with his thoughts. I particularly like the non-glitzy surroundings. The guy is sitting in shorts and t-shirt on a beat-up…

Two Queenly Careers

Through my reading I was reminded of two Scandinavian early-12th century queens whose careers are pretty amazing. Though originally probably unrelated, they became kin by marriage in several ways. ~1085. Margareta Ingesdotter born, daughter of King Inge I of Sweden. (Birth year unrecorded.) ~1100. Ulvhild Håkonsdotter born, daughter of the Norwegian nobleman Håkon Finnsson of…

Shrooms

At my wife’s suggestion, I quit work 1½ hour early today and cycled with her and the kids into the woods to pick mushrooms. Lovely sunny afternoon, and I can report that the hills between Lakes Lundsjön and Trehörningen are rich in boletes right now. Here are the species we got: King bolete, Stensopp/Karl Johan,…

To my horror, Ystads Allehanda reports that Wladyslaw Duczko has joined Nils-Axel Mörner on a project to excavate the famous Ales stenar stone ship. Why does this pain me? Because while (as I have reported here before) geologist Mörner and his collaborator homeopath Bob G. Lind are Swedish archaeology’s most notorious cranks, Duczko is not.…

Weekend Fun

Had breakfast guests: a beautifully pregnant old friend and our old boss/buddy came at ten and I cooked us all a full English. Everybody who’s into the Gustavian / Georgian era and reads Scandy, read Kristina Ekero Eriksson’s new popular biography of Märta Helena Reenstierna, the Lady of Årsta! I read it in manuscript, and…

There’s a parliamentary election in Sweden on the 19th, and everybody’s hoping that the country’s little right-wing populist party won’t get over the 4% threshold needed to grab any seats. The “Swedish Democrat” party mainly offers a We Hate Foreigners ticket, with some Law & Order and Respect Your Elders thrown in to attract voters…

Newish Finds from Old Uppsala

[More about archaeology, metaldetecting; arkeologi, metallsökare, Uppsala.] The view from my second investigation area. The great barrows were erected about AD 600. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday metal-detecting for my buddy John Ljungkvist on some of the most storied soil in Sweden: Old Uppsala. Archaeology and early historical sources unanimously point this village out as…