Archives for April, 2011

Recent Archaeomags

For some years I have been a happy reader of (and frequent commenter on) Current Archaeology. Now Dear Reader Marcus Smith has arranged (or bought?) a complimentary subscription for me to the other big UK pop-arch mag, British Archaeology. While CA is a private property, BA is published by the Council for British Archaeology, “an…

Bertil Albrektson is a very cool Bible scholar. A former professor of Old Testament Exegetics in Turku, Finland, he was on the most recent Swedish Bible translation commission despite being an atheist. His ground-breaking little 1967 book History and the Gods. An essay on the idea of historical events as divine manifestations in the ancient…

[More about photography, children, childpornography, pornography, porn; fotografi, barn, pornografi, porr, barnporr, barnpornografi.] In issue 2011:1 of Fotografisk Tidskrift, the journal of the Swedish Photographer’s Association, is a fine essay in Swedish by Jens Liljestrand (Twitter @jensliljestrand) about current attitudes to images of children and the definition of child pornography. Before the piece could be…

Will the New Age Be Here Soon?

The other day I overheard a cringeworthy conversation between two 70ish ladies of the New Age persuasion. They were talking about how a great change is imminent in our society, as heralded by the unusually many catastrophes taking place (huh?), and by the 2011 end of the Mayan calendar, “or was it 2012?”, the Maya…

My New Neighbours, the Beavers

When I was a kid, beavers were kind of exotic animals that lived in distant parts, like bears or wolverines. Over the past decade or two though, they’ve multiplied here in Nacka municipality, much as the wild boar population has exploded in this part of Sweden. Still, the beavers haven’t really reached my part of…

My dynamic colleague Bengt Nordqvist, for whose project I volunteered a few days in the summer of 2009, believes that contacts of his have found two Classical figurines of Venus (above) in the Gothenburg area. It looks like a fun possible case of misidentification. I don’t know Classical Mediterranean sculpture, and I don’t know neo-Classical…

A Dozen Years of Fornvännen

When I was in grad school, twelve years ago to the day, my thesis supervisor gave me a part-time job. He got me onto the editorial board of Swedish archaeology’s main research journal. I became co-editor of Fornvännen on 15 April 1999. The other editors were pretty busy people, I was paid by the hour,…

So Friday morning, we swam in the hotel pool after breakfast. Then we went into town and had lunch with Heather Flowers at the Acadia café, whereupon I gave a well-attended lunch talk about my Bronze Age project to staff and students at the U Minn Anthropology Department. Good to reconnect with Prof. Peter Wells,…

Journalist Geoffrey York has dug deeper for the Globe and Mail into the story about alleged descendants of Medieval Chinese sailors on the coast of Kenya that I wrote about once in ’07. He finds that not even the locals, who supposedly tell “legends” about their Chinese ancestry, believe any of it or indeed know…

I’m a picky reader when it comes to entertainment, and if I don’t like the first 50 pages of a novel I rarely continue. The most recent casualty of this policy is a book I was very kindly given by Birger Johansson, Rob Thurman’s The Grimrose Path (2010). Its a modern urban fantasy with angels…