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.

Friday Mushrooms

Has it really been almost four years since I blogged about mushrooms? This afternoon me and my wife repeated our September 8, 2010 expedition to the hills between Lakes Lundsjön and Trehörningen and picked almost a kilo of mushrooms in a bit more than an hour. We got: King bolete, Stensopp/Karl Johan, Boletus edulis Bay…

August Pieces Of My Mind #1

Another good Swedish word: försoffad, literally “becouched”, of people who have grown lazy and passive. Do the Syndics of Cambridge syn with their dics? I’ve started writing an essay collection based on the routines I’ve developed for party conversations about archaeology with laypeople. It sometimes makes me nervous to see all the things we design…

I’ve been reading a 1974 edition of Sigfrid Steinberg’s 1955 classic Five Hundred Years Of Printing. Overall I’ve found it interesting and instructive, with a fine touch of sarcastic humour. But I came across a few paragraphs on the value of universal literacy that are so alien to me that I almost had to rub…

July Pieces Of My Mind #2

I wonder how many head shops worldwide are called The Joint Venture. When friends of my kids cycle to our house, they always leave with their saddles yanked up a good bit. Because apparently other parents don’t notice when the kids grow too tall for their bike saddle setting. Finally figured out how the fuck…

The Crowning of the Lion

Deep in a single square metre of trench D at Landsjö castle, on the inner edge of the dry moat, we found five identical coins. Boy are they ugly. They’re thin, brittle, made of a heavily debased silver alloy and struck only from one side; they bear no legend and the image at the centre…

July Pieces Of My Mind #1

This lady in Wyoming sends me a picture of “sacred procreation rocks”, one looking like the sideways outline of an erect cock and the other simply with a hole in it. “They were found less than a few thousand feet from each other.” In the picture, the cock stone is helpfully pointed at the hole.…

A fun thing about historical archaeology, the archaeological study of areas and periods with abundant indigenous written documentation, is when the archaeology challenges the written record. According to the patchily preserved historical sources, Landsjö hamlet was a seat of the high nobility in about 1280 but then became tenant farms no later than 1340. This…

Ruin On An Islet

Landsjö castle is on a high islet in the lake next to the modern manor house. Nobody ever goes there. The ruins are covered by vegetation and they’re in bad shape: only along the western side of the islet do they rise even a metre above the rubble and accumulated forest mulch. Visible is a…

Brooch and Ruin Dwellers

With two days of digging and one day of backfilling left at Stensö Castle, trenches A and B have already given a rich harvest of new information. The northern tower was a green ruin mound when we came to site. We now know that the tower was built entirely of greystone, it was round with…

June Pieces Of My Mind #2

WTF! Ugly digital version of the wonderful claymation Shaun the Sheep! Curses! Top three Women As Sex Robots songs: Rollergirl: Superstar. Teddybears Sthlm: Yours To Keep. Kylie Minogue: Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. In the otherwise excellent boardgame Lords of Waterdeep there’s a quest called “Retrieve Ancient Artefacts”. Come on, do I really…