Norway

Category archives for Norway

Metal detectorist Steffen Hansen has kindly given me permission to show you his tattoo sleeve. He found the strap-end at Øvre Eiker in Buskerud fylke, Norway, and had it tattooed along with other Norwegian examples of the Borre style. I haven’t got a picture of his find, but you can see what they look like…

Racist Detectorists

In countries with a big metal detector hobby, the stereotypical participant is an anorak-wearing, rural, poorly educated, underemployed male. I don’t know how true this cliché image is. But apart from the anorak, it’s certainly an accurate description of the core voter demographic behind the rise of racist right-wing populist parties. These people have trouble…

Fornvännen’s Winter Issue On-Line

Fornvännen 2015:1 is now on-line on Open Access. Sven Sandström on fake Paleolithic art in France. Andreas Toreld and Tommy Andersson on sensational new discoveries on the carved slabs of the Kivik burial cairn. They’ve been endlessly discussed for over 200 years, and now the whole game just changes. Birgit Maixner on a new Late 1st…

A Norwegian Perspective on Stonehenge

Thanks to Daniel Lindskog for the tip-off.

Norse Saga About The Buddha

I found something pretty wild in an essay by J.L. Borges this morning. There’s a 13th century Norse saga about the Buddha. And the story has other fine twists as well. This all revolves around a legendary tale of the Buddha’s early life. In the 6th century BC a son was born to a petty…

Vestfold Barrows and Mead-Halls

The Midgardsenteret visitors’ centre at Borre invited me to give a talk about my Östergötland elite settlement project. This went well, with a sizeable and appreciative audience last night. One gentleman explained that they had all learned Swedish from watching kids’ TV when they were little. Today I went on a royal Late Iron Age…

Here I go again, bad-mouthing Thor Heyerdahl to his countrymen. But note that I’m quoted as saying, “Norway is a country that has produced many great archaeologists. Thor Heyerdahl was not one of them.” Proud Norwegians, your country is great! And its greatness does not hinge upon the posthumous judgment of that guy with the…

Kon Tiki Airport Restaurant

I’ve written a bit before about Thor Heyerdahl’s hyperdiffusionism and the status as a Norwegian national hero he still enjoys despite being completely discounted as a scientist. Last time I passed through Oslo airport I discovered this Kon Tiki-themed restaurant with a faux Ecuadorian Bolivian stele. I think what Heyerdahl interpreted as a full beard…

Tricking the Devil In 17th Century Norway

In the 90s, Norwegian death metal musicians were notorious for Satanism, violent crime and church arson. One of these twits burned down the stave church of Fantoft, which though moved in the 19th century had originally been built in about 1150. Any one of my atheist buddies could have told them that it’s OK to…

Sheep In Cabbage

I am making fårikål, a dish whose name has a kind of brutal literality, meaning “sheep in cabbage”. It doesn’t ring quite so harshly in Swedish, as we have no separate word for mutton, using the same word for the animal as for its meat. I’m making fårikål because I had it in Oslo a…