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.

May Pieces Of My Mind #1

Unpleasant discovery. I’ve known for a long time that looking at the age of people who get lectureships in Scandy archaeology, the third quartile is at 46. In other words, 75% of all the jobs are given to people aged 46 or less. But now I’ve looked at the contents of the fourth quartile. And…

LinCon 2016 Gaming Convention

Spent two happy days at the LinCon 2016 gaming convention in Linköping. 1500 gaming geeks of all ages from newborn to dotage, and with a very good gender balance. The only age/gender demographic that was visibly missing was old women. But brown and black people were sadly almost entirely absent. My own main complaint though…

Myself, Ethan Aines and Mats G. Eriksson are proud to present our report on last year’s fieldwork at Landsjö Castle, Kimstad parish, Östergötland. Lots of goodies there! Construction on the castle seems to have begun between 1250 and 1275, and the site was abandoned halfway through an extension project some 50-75 years later. We also found a Middle…

April Pieces Of My Mind #3

Happy archaeo-dad pastime: Jrette helped me enter the humongous tables of stats on rock art from Mats Malmer’s 1981 book into a computer spreadsheet, and we checked his sums, finding them all to be correct. Funny how common it is even for educated people to believe that the Vikings would send their dead out to…

I’m @sweden This Week On Twitter

The Swedish Institute is, according to Wikipedia, a Government agency in Sweden with the responsibility to spread information about Sweden outside the country. One way the organisation does this is the Twitter account @sweden, which is handed over to a new Swede every week. This week it’s me.

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…

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…