Sweden

Category archives for Sweden

Two Queenly Careers

Through my reading I was reminded of two Scandinavian early-12th century queens whose careers are pretty amazing. Though originally probably unrelated, they became kin by marriage in several ways. ~1085. Margareta Ingesdotter born, daughter of King Inge I of Sweden. (Birth year unrecorded.) ~1100. Ulvhild Håkonsdotter born, daughter of the Norwegian nobleman Håkon Finnsson of…

Lukewarm Normative Scandy Atheism

Because of blogging and my involvement in the skeptical pro-science movement, in recent years I have come into close contact with Americans as never before in my adult life. More than half of Aard’s readers are in the US. It’s almost like when I met my wife and suddenly learned lots about China. A couple…

Beautiful Vendel Period Jewellery

I’m happy and relieved. A 73-page paper that I put a lot of work and travel into and submitted almost five years ago has finally been published. In his essays, Stephen Jay Gould often refers to his “technical work”, which largely concerns Cerion land snails and is most likely not read by very many people.…

Futile Land Reclamation

As part of the reading course I’ve set myself on Bronze Age sacrificial finds, wetland archaeology and landscape studies, I’m reading a new book whose title translates as “Swedish bog cultivation. Agriculture, peat use and landscape change from 1750 to 2000”. It’s about various ways that Swedes have tried to make use of wetland in…

Rutabaga

Everybody knows that English has borrowed the words ombudsman and smorgasbord from Swedish. But did you know that rutabaga is another Swedish loan? And that it was borrowed from a rural Swedish dialect, not standard Swedish? “Rutabaga” is an American word for the kind of turnip known to Englishmen and Australians as swede. Indeed, the…

Theological Carolling

The autumn-term closing ceremony in Swedish schools is traditionally held in a church. The country was solidly (if lukewarmly) Christian until quite recently, and Christmas is of course nominally a Christian holiday. But Muslim immigrants have become more numerous from the 80s on, the Swedish Church separated from the state in 2000, and so it…

Medieval Genius Sculptor Vaporised

Names are one of the things that separate historical and archaeological thinking from each other. History is full of people of whom little is known beyond their names and perhaps a royal or ecclesiastical title, yet still they are considered to be historical personages. Meanwhile, a dead person found in a nameless prehistoric grave can…

AIDS was discovered in gay men and the virus is more easily transmitted through anal than vaginal intercourse. For this reason, gay men (defined as “men who have sex with men”) have long been forbidden to donate blood in Sweden. Likewise, people who go to bed with a new hetero partner must wait three months…

In addition to the archive reports on my two seasons of fieldwork at the Late Medieval and Early Modern harbour of Djurhamn, I have now published a paper that discusses and interprets the results. It’s in a symposium volume from the Royal Academy of Letters, edited by my friend Katarina Schoerner and bearing the name…

Archaeological Namesakes

I’ve been publishing stuff in Fornvännen since 1994. But making a vanity search in the journal’s on-line version, I found that I am not the first Rund??ist in Fornvännen’s history. My family name was mentioned once in those pages before I showed up. In 1935, Bengt Hildebrand published a bibliographical essay in Fornvännen titled (and…