Biology

Category archives for Biology

Palaeobotanist Jennie Andersson has analysed four soil samples for me, all from floor layers inside buildings at Medieval strongholds that me and my team have excavated in recent years. There’s one each from Stensö, Landsjö, Skällvik and Birgittas udde. Results were sadly not very informative. Comments Jennie: “Overall the fossil and carbonised botanical material in…

Supported by a grant from the King Gustavus Adolphus VI Foundation For Swedish Culture, osteologist Lena Nilsson has analysed the bones we collected during excavations last year at two Medieval strongholds. Two weeks with 19 fieldworkers at Birgittas udde produced only 0.4 kg of bones, because the site has no culture layers to speak of and the sandy ground…

A little archaeological conundrum found its solution this morning. At an excavation in Motala in the early 00s, colleagues of mine found a cupped piece of hard, greyish brown material with a distinctly patterned inside. They interpreted it as a piece of a lost-wax casting mould and suggested in a 2004 publication that it was for…

I’m Donating White Blood Cells

I’ve been a blood donor for over twenty years. The other day a doctor called me and asked me if instead of my normal quarterly donation, I’d be willing to give a few extra hours of my time along with a chunk of white blood cells. I said yes. There’s this transplant patient at a…

2014 Castle Excavation Reports

Things are coming together with the post-excavation work for last summer’s castle investigations so I’m putting some stuff on-line here. I’ve submitted a paper detailing the main results to a proceedings volume for the Castella Maris Baltici symposium in Lodz back in May. There are no illustrations in the file, but you’ll find all you…

Saturday Morning Mushrooms

Mushroom picking again this morning, this time in the area between Lakelets Skinnmossen and Knipträsket. Found more velvet and birch boletes than we cared to pick. King bolete, Stensopp/Karl Johan, Boletus edulis Orange birch bolete, Tegelsopp, Leccinum versepelle Velvet bolete, Sandsopp, Suillus variegatus Chanterelle, Kantarell, Cantharellus cibarius Gypsy mushroom, Rynkad tofsskivling, Rozites caperata False saffron…

Crayfish Gastroliths

It’s the time of the year when it used to become legal to catch and sell Swedish crayfish (since 1994 there is no limit), and so the grocery stores sell Turkish and Chinese crayfish for a few weeks. The traditional way to eat them is to boil them with dill, salt and a little sugar,…

Friday Mushrooms

Has it really been almost four years since I blogged about mushrooms? This afternoon me and my wife repeated our September 8, 2010 expedition to the hills between Lakes Lundsjön and Trehörningen and picked almost a kilo of mushrooms in a bit more than an hour. We got: King bolete, Stensopp/Karl Johan, Boletus edulis Bay…

Reading a term paper by one of my Växjö students, I learned something surprising. Being a well-read and erudite sort, Dear Reader, you may not be surprised. You already know that Japanese women have been having very few babies each since the 1950s, and that thus there’s a growing shortage of strong young people to…

Bread and Microbes

I found some slightly mouldy bread in the cupboard, cut off the mould and made toast. And I thought about bread and microbes. For flavour, not as a raising agent, I make sour dough. My method is simple: I mix rye flour with water in a glass, cover it with cling film and put it…