Archives for June, 2012

Major excavations are taking place in Old Uppsala because of railway work. Old Uppsala was a political, religious and mercantile centre from about AD 600 to 1274. In fact it may be termed the central place of the Swedes – tribe and kingdom – during those centuries. My friend, author Kristina Ekero Eriksson, is the…

Vår Gård in Saltsjöbaden is a conference venue and training centre whose history illustrates political trends in Sweden over the past century and more. 1892. The Thiel brothers, two of Sweden’s wealthiest art patrons, buy a property by the sea in the new fashionable resort of Saltsjöbaden and build two luxurious summer mansions. They name…

Following up on Saturday’s entry on the bleak prospects for many UK archaeology departments, I’d like to share a remark made by a senior colleague a few years back. All archaeological research covers a certain area of the world. What parts get covered is largely decided by 19-year-old non-archaeologists. The mechanism is simple. For reasons…

Aard has a persistent problem after the migration of Sb to WordPress. Every day up to a couple of hundred comments spontaneously get “reported” and become invisible. This mostly hits old entries but also some of the newer ones. So don’t despair if your comment shows up on the site briefly and then disappears. Nobody’s…

As noted here three years ago, UK contract archaeology is in a deep slump where hundreds of archaeologists have been laid off and a number of excavation units have closed shop. Those experienced and well-connected field archaeologists who got the sack didn’t evaporate: many of them are still out there waiting for the job market…

With Fornvännen’s summer issue on its way from the printers to subscribers, we have published the full contents of last winter’s issue on-line (2011:4). This is one of the rare cases where no women have contributed papers, but it’s good stuff anyway. Robin Lindblad on why axes were depicted on Bronze Age rock carvings. Michael…

The Huskvarna Drug

Recently while reading Mats Keyet’s 2000 biography of Swedish beat novelist Sture Dahlström, I came across the sad story of the Huskvarna drug. It killed Dahlström’s father and many others. In 1961 Dr. Hjorton’s powder was made a prescription drug. This measure was of no great consequence anywhere except in Huskvarna, a small single-company industrial…

Today I celebrate 20 years as a professional archaeologist! In the spring of 1992 I turned 20, completed my BA, got married and moved out of student accommodation. I was very lucky: I had immediately upon graduation gotten a four-month job on a contract dig for the Arlanda airport bullet train, conducted by the National…

I had a brief but interesting conversation with a distinguished Chinese art historian the other day. He’s my age but has been far more successful than me despite relocating to Sweden. We were talking about science and superstition, because apparently someone had described the Swedish Skeptics that I head to him as “The Swedish Anti-Superstition…

Weekend Fun

Played the zombie movie boardgame Last Night On Earth and Airlines Europe, both very enjoyable. Had a party where I couldn’t understand what anybody said since they spoke Mandarin, but I was happy being Grillmeister, waitor and dishwasher. Logged five geocaches, which involved cycling around, climbing a tree and faffing about in the woods north…