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.

Dendro Dissidents

Afternoon tea with my friends Åke and Petra inspired me to re-run this post from March 2010. Professional dendrochronology is still almost entirely a black-box in-house endeavour, that is, it is still not great science. Field archaeologists: when you saw your wood samples for dendro, get two samples and send one to the amateur community! They…

Sketches of Boz

In the second novel-length third of Stephen Jarvis’s hefty Death and Mr Pickwick, artist and caricaturist Robert Seymour starts in earnest to put ideas together for the Pickwick Papers. Yes, that’s right: here (as maybe in reality) it is the illustrator who comes up with the concept for the book, but being dyslexic and proud…

April Pieces Of My Mind #1

Been wondering about psychopaths. Having empathy of course de-motivates healthy folks from murderous cruelty. But why would absence of empathy motivate murderous cruelty? Are most psychopaths in fact not interested in such acts? This is pretty neat: I bought a hat in London and wore it for a few days, and now that I’m back…

Fornvännen’s Autumn Issue On-line

Today’s my 16th anniversary as editor of Fornvännen! Issue 2014:3 is now on-line on Open Access. Ole Thirup Kastholm on dugout canoes from before AD 1 on the Scandinavian peninsula. Ole Stilborg on Late Bronze Age pottery from Östergötland. Peter Tångeberg on recently uncovered Medieval murals in Kil church, Närke. Påvel Nicklasson on early 19th…

Google Play Books Ate My Apostrophes

Update 10 April: It pays to report problems like the one described below to Google’s customer support. Seven weeks ago I discovered the problem. One week ago I reported it. Today the problem was suddenly gone, probably because Google updated the two ebooks involved and pushed new versions of the files to my phone. I…

London Vacation

Got back last night from a six-day stay in London with wife & daughter. YuSie had rented a flat in Southwark for us via Air BnB, so we had a good base of operations. I fell ill with a bad cold halfway through our stay, which explains the complete lack of museum visits and rock…

“Matilda”: Class Perspective

In Roald Dahl’s last book, Matilda (1988), we are invited to laugh at the main character’s parents. They hate books, love TV, dress tastelessly and subsist on microwave TV dinners. Yet only when I saw the musical at the Cambridge Theatre in London this past Tuesday, where the mother additionally practices competition ballroom dancing and both…

March Pieces Of My Mind #2

I broke the rice cooker’s handle. Then I fixed it. Jrette smiled and called this macho display. I replied that I wasn’t actually using my willie for the work and that breasts wouldn’t get in the way. Me: Can I put the manual for your thermos flask in the recycling? Wife: No, I want to…

My Bronze Age Book Is Out

Dear Reader, it is with great pleasure that I announce the PDF publication of my fifth monograph,* In the Landscape and Between Worlds. The paper version will appear in April or May. Here’s the back-cover blurb. Bronze Age settlements and burials in the Swedish provinces around Lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren yield few bronze objects and…

Childhood Horrors

Ken & Robin have an interesting discussion in the most recent episode of their podcast, on childhood fears. Specifically, they talk about childhood responses to horror stories and movies. I was inspired to write about my own childhood horrors. Luckily there were no actual horrors in my childhood. Nobody around me was violent or insane…