Sweden

Category archives for Sweden

The Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet) has evaluated our basic university programmes in a long series of subjects. The results for archaeology were published yesterday, based on the status 2012. There were 21 BA (3 yrs), Mag.Phil. (4 yrs) and MA (5 yrs) programmes at the country’s archaeology departments. The median grade they’ve received is…

Between Technocracy and Populism

I’m confused by this political science paper I’m editing. The guy wants to find a middle way for the EU between two kinds of authoritarianism: technocracy and populism. I understand the first word to mean ”rule by academic experts who don’t care what the voters say”, and the second to mean ”rule by uneducated clowns…

Here are two pages out of this week’s Swedish crime chronicle, showcasing the rare beauties of the small-town criminal mind. Both remind me of the movie Fargo in different ways. The first one is awesomely stupid. Wednesday shortly after noon a young couple were driving through the outskirts of Fagersta. Two police officers recognised them…

Contract archaeology is the current term for what used to be called rescue archaeology: documenting archaeological sites slated for destruction through land development. (Swedes sometimes fall for a false friend and translate an old word of ours, exploateringsarkeologi, into “exploitation archaeology”, suggesting fieldwork undertaken by people in pimp/ho outfits to the soundtrack from Shaft.) Swedish…

Sweden used to have its own version of Irish Coffee: kaffekask. It was big in the 19th century and I believe it dropped from favour during our 1917-55 period of liquor rationing. Nobody seems to drink kaffekask anymore. A kask is a type of helmet like the ones worn by English bobbies. But that’s apparently…

Saltsjöbaden Train / House Crash

Damn, I must have ridden those very train carriages thousands of times! The crash happened just four stops up the commuter train line from where I live. My wife and I went there this morning with our camera. Details here. . Update 21 January: On the basis of first reports and information from a former…

Ridiculous School Funding Drives

A perennial annoyance for me as a parent is the many odd ways in which schools force parents to organise the funding for trips and stays at camp collectively. The general idea is sound: it would not be fair to make the parents pay up front, because then the poorer families might not be able…

Swedish Landscape Surprises

Taking a hint from George Hrab’s stage show, I asked my landscape history students to write me a question each anonymously on a small note. Or rather, I asked them to ”Tell me something that surprises you about the Swedish landscape you’ve seen so far”. This turned out to be a good teaching tool. I…

Tern Island Again

Last week my dad and his wife took us to Tärnskär, “Tern Island” again like three years ago. This time we looked closer at the lovely glacial abrasion features on the island’s higher end.

As I’ve written before in a number of venues (e.g. Fornvännen and Antiquity), the current Swedish metal detector legislation needs to be changed. It is too restrictive in relation to honest amateur detectorists. It is keeping them from a) making valuable contributions to archaeological research, b) saving finds for scholarship that are slowly turning to…