Archaeology

Category archives for Archaeology

On 10 June I blogged about some grisly finds from Cliffs End in Kent which to my mind indicate eight centuries of human sacrifice during the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. I invited colleagues at Wessex Archaeology who did the dig to comment, and Chief Osteoarcheologist Jacqueline McKinley kindly sent me some detailed views. The…

Bronze Age rock art along Sweden’s south-east coast is rich but not as varied as that of the famous west-coast region. One motif that we have been missing is the four-wheel wagon. It isn’t common anywhere except on one site, Frännarp in inland Scania (below right), but we have had none whatsoever where I am.…

Despite loud (and in my opinion, well argued) opposition to the Swedish restrictions on metal detector use by honest amateurs, our authorities are sadly not coming round to anything resembling the Danish legislation that works so well. My friend and fieldwork collaborator Tobias Bondeson is a skilled amateur detectorist who regularly publishes scholarly papers on…

800 Years Of Human Sacrifice In Kent

British Archaeology #131 (July/August) has a feature by Pippa Bradley that caught my interest. It’s about a Wessex Archaeology dig in 2004-05 at Cliffs End farm in Thanet, a piece of north-east Kent that was an island up until the 16th century when silting finished connecting it to mainland England. What we’re dealing with here…

Historiska media is a publishing house in Lund. In recent years they have been putting out pop-sci guide books about Medieval Sweden, province by province. I’ve reviewed the volumes about Södermanland and Uppland provinces here. And now my friend and Fornvännen co-editor Elisabet Regner has written the first volume in the series that deals with…

Recent Archaeomags

Current World Archaeology #58 (April/May) has a seven-page feature on the 8th century mass graves in ships at Salme on Saaremaa in Estonia. This astonishing find interests me greatly as the ships and the dead men’s equipment are Scandinavian, and so I mentioned it here back in 2008. One of the sword pommels is an…

New Paper On The Wreck Of The Rikswasa

A few years ago I did some fieldwork at Djurhamn, a peripheral naval harbour of the 15th through the 17th centuries (and blogged much about it: A – B – C – D – E – F – G – H, and published a paper on it in an anthology). Now maritime archaeologist Jonas Wiklund…

In this well-written, painstakingly annotated and beautifully designed book, physicist Baruch Sterman (with contributor Judy Taubes Sterman) traces the history and prehistory of a certain blue pigment, along with its cultural and religious significance through the ages. It’s what the Torah and Talmud calls tekhelet, and it’s made from a gland harvested from Murex sea…

After only one day of my teaching, one of my Kalmar students has already twigged that there’s a funny discrepancy between the course’s post-modernist meta-archaeological syllabus and the opinions voiced by his main teacher from the lectern and elsewhere. Fearlessly he goes for my jugular on the course blog, where all the students have to…

In my career (such as it is), I keep running into a hurdle having to do with the great value placed in the arts/humanities on the novelty of interpretations. Time and again, reviewers will say that my work tackles interesting questions in a methodologically competent manner using solid data – but that my interpretations (humanities…