Today I did four hours of metal-detecting at a site in Vårdinge where a Wendelring bronze torque from about 600 BC has been found. Reiner Knizia’s popular card game Lost Cities has a thinly applied archaeological theme, and on the board is actually an image of a Wendelring torque just like the one from Vårdinge. (A Lost Cities deck can easily be made from two packs of normal playing cards using a marker pen on a few cards.)
The torques often come in twos and threes, so I was hoping to find another one today. In early April when my team was there, the site was still largely covered with snow and melt water, but today was a beautiful summer day. No Late Bronze Age torque though: only a lot of 20th century stuff, mainly rifle cartridges, bullets and bottle tops.
Two of the finds are inscribed and kind of fun.
The older one is a lead seal used to seal something tied up with string. It bears the legends “SALVSJÖ- QVARN” and “STOCKHOLM”. This is funny because a) it’s a typo for Saltsjöqvarn, and b) the place is in my home municipality Nacka. It was a major industrial flour mill that operated from 1890 to 1988.
To someone with my background, Baldor is a prince of the Rohirrim in Tolkien’s Middle-earth (Anglo-Saxon Cossacks, to use the recently deceased Diana Wynne Jones’s term) who makes a drunken vow and enters the Paths of the Dead, never to be seen again. To a 20th century Swedish farmer or an inhabitant of Fort Smith, Arkansas, however, Baldor is a maker of electrical motors. The company is still around and was bought last year by ABB, an industrial multinational with some Swedish roots.
The VM3542 motor whose spec plate I found is still made and retails for about $275. Don’t know if a date of manufacture can be inferred from the punched info on the plate.