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.

April Pieces Of My Mind #2

Is there any HBTQ aware research in heterocyclic chemistry? I don’t like goat’s cheese. As far as I’m concerned the goats could just stop making it. Josh Homme always impresses me. Ticking boxes for the upcoming fieldwork season, feels good. Landowners at two high-profile sites have given their permission. Both permit applications sent to the…

April Pieces Of My Mind #1

Slussen, “the Lock”, an enormous 1930s concrete structure built to organise an 8-way road crossing in central Stockholm, is headed for replacement and the really big demolition bout is drawing near. Exciting! And an opportunity for looooads of really interesting urban contract archaeology! In Chrétien de Troyes’ Yvain, the hero goes nuts and an hermit…

Metal Detectorist Tattoo #3

Torben Thomsen found this relief-decorated and gilded pendant in Hjørring municipality, northernmost Jutland. It was his first really old piece. Knight Ink Tattoo in Frederikshavn did the tattoo work on Torben’s lower left leg. Torben’s pendant is missing its loop, but his workmate Daniel Bach Morville has found the complete piece below at a nearby…

Fornvännen’s Autumn Issue On-Line

Fornvännen 2015:3 is now on-line on Open Access. Lars Larsson on an unusual Late Neolithic burial monument at the record-breaking 1st millennium site of Uppåkra. Christina Fredengren on deposition of human and animal bodies in the waters of inland Uppland. Lars Liedgren and Ingela Bergman on a previously unpublished 1921 excavation of a Late Medieval…

Skeptical Sir Richard

Yesterday I finished reading the first volume of Sir Richard Burton’s 1855 Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah (in the public domain). Here Burton recounts his travels in the summer of 1853, when he disguised himself as a wandering Persian physician and performed the Muslim pilgrimage. At the time, if a non-Muslim…

Metal Detectorist Tattoo #2

Metal detectorist Steffen Hansen has kindly given me permission to show you his tattoo sleeve. He found the strap-end at Øvre Eiker in Buskerud fylke, Norway, and had it tattooed along with other Norwegian examples of the Borre style. I haven’t got a picture of his find, but you can see what they look like…

March Pieces Of My Mind #3

Untouched WW2 resistance arms cache found in a cave near Bergen. Sadly no archaeological involvement. Everything dealt with by police explosives experts. Greek Western heroine: Kalamata Jane. So annoying when people write about patently incorrect beliefs held in the past or in far parts of the world as “knowledge”. They’re going to drill cores of…

Weekend Fun

The past two weekends were a lot of fun. The Royal Technical College’s orchestra and several combined student choirs from Sweden and Finland performed Giuseppe Verdi’s 1874 Requiem, an intricate and operatic farewell to fellow composer Gioachino Rossini and poet Alessandro Manzoni. Gig with King Khan and the Shrines. Imagine a tall, psychedelic, semi-nude, portly,…

Metal Detectorist Tattoo

Yesterday I learned about a cool new tradition among metal detectorists. They’re having images of their favourite finds tattooed, often on the arm with which they hold the detector! Note that in Scandinavia these are generally objects that the finders have handed in to museums – they keep them only as tattoos. This is in…

March Pieces Of My Mind #2

Pretty groovy example of restaurant spelling the other day: “A là cartè”. ”From what black wells of Acherontic fear or feeling, from what unplumbed gulfs of extra-cosmic consciousness or obscure, long-latent heredity, were those half-articulate thunder-croakings drawn?” I know I’ve said this before, but it is such a remarkable fact that it bears repeating. Dungeons…