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.

Medieval walls are usually shell walls, where you construct an inner and outer shell of finely fitted masonry while filling the space between them with a jumble of smaller stones and mortar. Usually the facing stones don’t project much into the core. When the wall is allowed to erode, once the cap stones have fallen…

Starting Up At Stensö

Drove down to Vikbolandet on Sunday night with my excellent colleague Ethan Aines from Stanford, and we were met at expedition HQ by seven of my Umeå students from last autumn semester. Very pleased to see them again! They’ve just finished their second term and several are scheduled to go on to the third. So…

Heading For My Dig

It’s Sunday morning and I’m getting ready for four weeks of excavations. I haven’t done any digging since the Pukberget cave dig in 2011, and my last multi-week dig with a big team was at Sättuna in 2008. So it’s high time, and I’m excited. Getting stuff from my study, packing stuff at home, buying…

Think Before You Drop-Shadow

Many graphic designers like to cut out objects from photographs and give them a digital drop shadow on the page. Here’s an example of why this is often a bad idea. Since it’s working with a 2D image, the drop shadow algorithm has to assume that the object has no depth or surface contour. In…

June Pieces Of My Mind #1

Core po-mo science studies professor says roughly “You don’t get to choose your own reality and laypeople don’t know better than scientific consensus about factual issues.” Rode a Bombardier CRJ 900 from Copenhagen to Warsaw and then the competing model Embraer 170 from Warsaw to Munich. Five years ago I cut saplings and tree branches…

A few months ago I registered on Elsevier’s clunky old on-line manuscript submissions site and submitted a paper to Journal of Archaeological Science. It got turned down because the two peer reviewers disagreed on whether it should be accepted or not. No biggie: I resubmitted elsewhere. Today Elsevier Science & Technology Journals spammed the address I submitted from with…

Podcasts I Pay For

I give these podcasts $5-8 monthly. Only the HPLLP has a pay wall. The Drabblecast — Norm Sherman produces strange stories by strange authors for strange listeners. The Geologic Podcast — George Hrab on skepticism, music and more. The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast — Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey on pre-WW2 horror fiction. Ken and…

Sweden doesn’t have much of a written record for the Viking Period. We have most of the rune stones but hardly any of the sagas. And thus among Swedish Viking scholars it is not uncommon to be rather poorly read, like I am, in the eddas, the sagas and the other written sources of the…

I Am Becoming Museology

I’ve blogged before about becoming an archaeological dad, when new work built upon and superseded stuff I did in the 90s. Now stuff I did in the 00s has become, if not history, then at least museology, in the pages of Dr. Carl-Johan Svensson’s PhD thesis in didactics (freely available on-line as a 2.4 MB…

Juggling My Work

These are the work balls I’m currently juggling. All fun stuff! Prepare for a month’s excavations at two sites near Norrköping starting 23 June. Finishing touches to Bronze Age book manuscript and illustrations. Publish Aska in Hagebyhöga geophysics paper. Manage Fornvännen’s manuscript influx. Edit a book by a retired heritage management official. Schedule landscape history…