Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, public speaker, chairman of the Swedish Skeptics Society, atheist, lefty liberal, board gamer, bookworm, and father of two.

September Pieces Of My Mind #2

The former school / functions venue in my housing area has been converted into housing for single male asylum seekers. I’m putting a note on their front door, offering to teach them some boardgames. Wonder if the weight-loss advertisers realise that the pics of amply built women they intend to frighten female customers with are…

September Pieces Of My Mind #1

Learned a neat German expression: Eier kraulen, lit. “to fondle the eggs”, means “to fondle someone’s testicles”, that is, “to stroke a man’s ego”. Lithuanian plumbers put the hot water to the right even though the colour coding on the taps is the reverse. This Romanian researcher thinks that the Yamnaya Culture is an ancient…

Announcing My New Essay Collection

In December of last year I finished a collection of short humorous archaeological essays. It’s my sixth book, my first one in Swedish, my first one aimed at the lay reader. Since then I’ve been waiting for established Swedish publishing houses to pronounce judgement on it. Five of them have now turned it down, none…

Autumn Speaking Schedule

For the first time since 2011 I haven’t got any teaching this autumn semester, which is really bad both for my finances and for my troop morale. (I feel like my colleagues would celebrate or not even notice if I got eaten by a grue tomorrow.) To boost both I’m instead seeking paid extramural speaking…

Fornvännen’s Winter Issue On-Line

Fornvännen 2015:4 is now on-line on Open Access. Therese Ekholm compares radiocarbon dates on bone versus charcoal from ostensibly closed contexts on Stone Age sites in northern Sweden. Tony Björk & Ylva Wickberg on continued investigations of the Degeberga linear monument in Scania. Indrek Jets & Marika Mägi on a Viking Period sacrificial site at Viidumäe…

August Pieces Of My Mind #3

Today is the big book-selling festival on Drottninggatan in Stockholm, “the world’s longest book table”, which is probably true since the term “book table” is almost unknown outside Sweden. I’m bringing a backpack and the names Bengtsson, Bujold, LeGuin, Maugham, Paasilinna and Piraten. Several book sellers at the festival have told me “He’s great but…

Help Ben Study Medieval Scabbard Chapes

Here’s a guest entry by my correspondent Ben Bishop who’s doing a project on Medieval scabbard mounts using data from the Portable Antiquites Scheme (PAS). —– I am researching medieval English scabbard chapes formed of folded copper alloy. They date from the period c. AD 1050–1300. The overwhelming majority are fragmentary when found and recognisable…

All Unconserved Finds Must Die Die Die?

Several colleagues have told me this bizarre rumour that I hope is unfounded. Contract archaeologists at two sites on Öland and in Småland have found more Medieval coins than their conservation budget can cover. So they have to prioritise which coins to conserve. So far so good, and congrats on the lovely finds. But. According to this…

August Pieces Of My Mind #2

Getting your fridge filled with rusty Medieval nails isn’t actually as hard as many people think. Just marry an archaeologist! It’s been decided that from now on the word is pronounced ever-yone or ever-yawn. Jrette joined me and Lasse for tonight’s sailing mini-race. She steered throughout the race, she enjoyed herself and we finished in…

Back In The Saddle Again

I’ve been away from my various desks for almost two months while excavating and then enjoying some time off. Here’s what’s on my plate right now. Saddle. I mean my saddle, in which I’m back. Landscape archaeology conference, three days in Uppsala. I’m giving a paper on my Bronze Age project. European Association of Archaeologists,…