Archaeology

Category archives for Archaeology

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,…

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…

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…

Two Medieval Ruins

I drove down to Norrköping Thursday morning to look at two small Medieval castle ruins for my new project. The one at Landsjö in Kimstad is difficult to reach because it’s on a small island in a lake where nobody keeps a boat. So I had bought one of those big tractor-tyre things (that people…

Recent Archaeomags

Current Archaeology #287 (February) has news of a roundhouse foundation that really caught my eye. English Iron Age roundhouses are usually visible simply as a circular ditch or a post circle. This house, at Broadbridge Heath in Sussex, had a foundation ditch shaped like a slightly open number 6: a spiral! I also enjoyed Nadia…

Sacrificing The Gods’ Share

I found an excellent argument in a recent paper by Svend Hansen,* clinching something in a particularly satisfying way. Certain Bronze Age hoards in Northern Europe contain a lot of fragmented objects. But the pieces rarely add up to complete artefacts. In 2001 Stuart Needham argued that this may be due to a custom similar…

Guldgubbar are tiny pieces of gold foil with (usually) embossed motifs. They most commonly depict single men, then embracing couples, then single women, all in fine clothing. They date from the Vendel Period (540-790) and seem to have been religious artefacts. Usually they are found in the remains of elite residences, concentrating in and around…

Secrets of the Runic Lion

The Lion of Pireus is a large 4th century BC marble statue that was moved from Pireus, the port of Athens, to Venice in 1688. It is now at the city’s Arsenal. The Lion has unmistakeable Swedish 11th century runic inscriptions which have been known to Scandinavian scholars since 1798/99. Clearly they have something to…

I’ve blogged before about the woebegone Solutrean hypothesis, and I’m happy to say that it is now dead. The oldest well-characterised archaeological culture in America is the Clovis culture. Its main diagnostic type is a large knapped stone spearhead with a fluted base. The Solutrean hypothesis starts from a comparison with spearheads from the Solutrean…