Here’s an interesting legal conundrum. The pseudo-archaeological power duo Bob Lind and Nils-Axel Mörner have been excavating without a permit again (as confirmed to me by the County Archaeologist). But the site they have chosen is a disused quarry of indeterminate age. Though protected by the letter of the current law, such a humble and probably not very old site would not in practice receive the full treatment afforded e.g. a prehistoric settlement site.

However…

Lind and Mörner claim that the quarry dates from the Bronze Age. So they have dug into a site they believe to be legally protected without securing a permit first.

I’d say that this is the equivalent of shooting somebody who is, unbeknowst to the gun man, already dead. No harm done. But there was intention to commit a crime.

(And about their suggestion that this is the quarry where the tallest stones in the Ales Stenar stone ship were quarried? The general Brantevik area with its many quarries was pointed out decades ago as a source of the stones by writers not acknowledged in the press release. And Lind & Mörner have presented neither dating evidence nor a petrographic analysis to support their claims.)

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Lund
    August 22, 2012

    We’ve established that M&L are stupid, but how stupid are they?

    I looked at the press release, which refers to a site called Branteviks Åkeri AB. Was that just the location of the press conference, or the actual site of the excavation? (I don’t know enough Swedish to tell the difference.) The map indicates that this site is within the urbanized area of Brantevik.

    Separately from archeological issues, Sweden presumably has something along the lines of DigSafe in the US to tell them whether there are any buried utilities (gas, electricity, telephone, etc.) in the area they are excavating. If they are digging in an urbanized area, it is much more likely there will be buried utilities nearby. Striking a gas line or a high voltage copper wire could ruin their whole day.

  2. #2 Martin R
    August 22, 2012

    I take it the quarry is on the plot at that address. Luckily, I believe our friends have been digging with hand tools which decreases the risk of damaging a cable or pipe.

  3. #3 Birger Johansson
    August 22, 2012

    Yawn. Nuts do nutty things. News at ten.
    This may sound like a callous dismissal of two person´s tragical obsession but rubbish like “Biblical archaeology” has made me allergic to shoehorning.
    Wake me up when they produce entertaining stuff, like claiming Gilgamesh came from Scania.
    (My favourite is Monthy Python Egyptology: “Evidence of Polynesian influence of the XXI dynasty”)

  4. #4 Tobias
    August 23, 2012

    Ystad Allehanda has interviewed Bengt Söderberg, Archaeologist at Lund University, regarding Lind’s new claims. He mirrors Martin’s comments and wraps it up by saying: “Soon there won’t be anything left on Österlen that isn’t connected to his [Lind's] sun theories”
    http://www.ystadsallehanda.se/skane/article1676034/Koppling-inte-trovardig-anser-arkeolog.html

  5. #5 Martin R
    August 23, 2012

    I talked to the journalist and recommended Soderberg. Good to finally see some critical coverage.

  6. #6 Thomas Ivarsson
    August 24, 2012

    Nice to see that Ystad Allehanda now has a critical attitude to Mörner and Lind. The coYmments from Söderberg are great.You made a good prediction on Twitter Martin!