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.

Alboin and Cunimund in Hell

Back in 2012 we had a look at the first novel written in Swedish, 1666/68′s Stratonice by Urban Hiärne (1641-1724). He went on to become a high-ranking doctor, founded a hydrotherapeutic spa resort, was instrumental in putting an end to the Swedish witch hunts and fathered 26 children by his three wives. But before all…

May Pieces Of My Mind #1

Learned a joke from a German on Twitter. It works in English as well. Q: What do you call a Nazi sitting on a high voltage cable? A: National resistance. Played “Hoochie Coochie Man” to Jrette to explain where the anonymous piano riff she uses as a ring tone comes from. And mightily did she…

Three Days In Estonia

Spent Wednesday through Friday in Estonia at the kind invitation of Marge Konsa and the Institute of History and Archaeology in Tartu. Gave a lecture on computer-aided statistics for burial studies (here’s my presentation), then went to Tallinn, where Jüri Peets and Raili Allmäe showed me the finds and horrifically battle-damaged bones from the two…

I put Tove Jansson’s Moomin character the Muddler, Sw. Rådd-djuret, into a presentation. It’s about multivariate statistics for archaeologists, and I accompany the picture with the following quotation. How could you forget about the Muddler when you launched the ship, Sniff said accusingly. Did he ever get his button collection back into order? Oh yes,…

April Pieces Of My Mind #2

The Christian Democrats dropping under the 4% cutoff for Parliament is a thing devoutly to be wished for in itself. But also, I just realised, if they do, then their votes will evaporate, losing the Right coalition a considerable part of their current majority. I feel really bad for people who don’t know what CTRL-Z…

The 12-15th centuries are reckoned as Sweden’s Middle Ages. Politically, it was a highly volatile period, where the average tenure of a ruler was less than 11 years. One trait that can look modern to a present-day observer is that some of these tenures were divided up into several separate terms interleaved by other rulers.…

Fornvännen 2013:3 is now on-line on Open Access. Morten Axboe and Magnus Källström on a classic find of runic gold bracteates from Trollhättan, recently expanded by a metal detectorist who would have been better informed about how to go about things if Swedish law had encouraged responsible metal detector clubs. Lennart Bondeson et al. on…

April Pieces Of My Mind #1

I want my spell-checker word list to reside in the cloud so that I won’t have to start from scratch, adding names of Swedish provinces and archaeologists to the list, separately for each computer I work at. I’m tired of Star Trek and Star Wars. Let’s forget about them. The Space Odyssey took place 13…

Pimp My Book Manuscript

Since late ’09 my main research project has concerned the Bronze Age in the four Swedish provinces surrounding Lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren. I’ve looked at the landscape situation of the era’s deposition sites, which is pretty much where you find bronze objects. Yesterday I finished the first draft of the book (except the descriptive gazetteer,…

The New Face of Old Uppsala

This little guy is the new face of Old Uppsala. Most likely a religious amulet, being too small for a gaming piece, he showed up as a corroded lump in a cremation grave of the Late Vendel Period, early-8th century. The same grave also yielded a lovely millefiori glass bird gem, glass beads, and very…