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Yesterday we had a guest entry from Lars Amréus, the Director General of the National Heritage Board about the signage with fringe theories at a much-visited archaeological site in southern Sweden. As I read it, the main take-away message is ”Sorry, I know this used to be our job but it isn’t any more”. So…

Bob Lind has yet again managed to get the National Heritage Board to abdicate its responsibility at Ales Stenar, a beautiful 7th century AD burial monument near Ystad in southern Sweden. Bob has self-published odd interpretations of the site that have found no traction among professional archaeologists. He has kept vigil at Ales stenar for decades, lecturing…

Autumn Speaking Schedule

For the first time since 2011 I haven’t got any teaching this autumn semester, which is really bad both for my finances and for my troop morale. (I feel like my colleagues would celebrate or not even notice if I got eaten by a grue tomorrow.) To boost both I’m instead seeking paid extramural speaking…

Fornvännen’s Winter Issue On-Line

Fornvännen 2015:4 is now on-line on Open Access. Therese Ekholm compares radiocarbon dates on bone versus charcoal from ostensibly closed contexts on Stone Age sites in northern Sweden. Tony Björk & Ylva Wickberg on continued investigations of the Degeberga linear monument in Scania. Indrek Jets & Marika Mägi on a Viking Period sacrificial site at Viidumäe…

Back around Christmas I reviewed the first three chapters of Toby Martin’s big book about Anglo-Saxon cruciform brooches. Those are the technical chapters dealing with typology and chronology, and I loved them. They are rock solid. Now I’ve read the remaining four chapters that deal with the societal interpretation of the brooches. In the following…

January Pieces Of My Mind #1

2015 was an amazing year for scifi movies. The Martian, Fury Road, Force Awakens. And I hear Ex Machina is good too? Tess Parks’s “Life Is But A Dream” sounds exactly like Mazzy Star. Tolkien Society flea market / fundraiser, late 80s. I’m in my larper tunic and baggy-sleeved shirt. An old lady loudly asks…

August Pieces Of My Mind #2

Getting rid of excess stuff. Azerbaijani dude with a huge beautiful beard showed up on his wife’s orders and collected both bike baby seats, the rolling baby stool, the dinner table lamp and the microwave oven. *happy* My wife’s workout app is giving her orders. It sounds like a very, very strange satnav. User interface…

July Pieces Of My Mind #2

Jrette wandering around watching TV on the iPad, overturning and breaking things in the kitchen. *sigh* Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold. Jrette stole my zombie novel — Carey’s 2014 Girl With All The Gifts — and proclaimed it to be the best book she’s read in ages. Now I am bookless. Mistakenly…

Gun Stash Suddenly Unavailable

A colleague of mine has left contract archaeology to work for the police as a civil utredare, that is, someone with a university degree who works on crime cases despite not being a policeperson. He told me a pretty neat story about Gubbligan, the Old Man’s Gang. The OMG were three professional bank robbers who…

Sketches of Boz

In the second novel-length third of Stephen Jarvis’s hefty Death and Mr Pickwick, artist and caricaturist Robert Seymour starts in earnest to put ideas together for the Pickwick Papers. Yes, that’s right: here (as maybe in reality) it is the illustrator who comes up with the concept for the book, but being dyslexic and proud…