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Together with Dorthe Wille-Jørgensen, Curator at the Danish Castle Centre in Vordingborg, I’m organising a paper session on Medieval castles at the 22nd annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists. This is in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, 31 August to 4 September 2016. Here’s our session abstract: Lifestyles At Medieval Castles: Current Methodological Approaches…

December Pieces Of My Mind #1

Found the secret passage between the humanities building and the library. Now I can go eat lunch without braving the elements. I flew to Umeå today along the contrail left by the aircraft when going south earlier in the morning. Contrails are really pretty up close. Once I saw two parallel ones, really thick and…

Today I proof-read the annual index for Fornvännen, the archaeology journal I co-edit. And I took the opportunity to look at our gender stats for full-length papers. There are 16 of these in this year’s four issues. Only 31% have female first authors. An additional 31% have a male first author and at least one…

November Pieces Of My Mind #3

One of the most annoying and amateurish things a graphic designer can do, in my experience, is to insert hard hyphens. I make a policy of keeping conservative and libertarian people in my Facebook feed and not muting them even though I don’t agree with them. But lately I’ve had to add a subclause: I’m…

Seven Decades, Seven Songs

A buddy of mine tagged me on Facebook to post a good song every day for a week. Here’s what I came up with. 2000s. Robert Plant’s (once of Led Zep) beautiful 2002 cover of ”Song To The Siren”. The original was first performed by Tim Buckley (Jeff’s dad) in 1968. Pay attention to the…

Stockholm Film Festival 2015

It’s been a busy movie-going month for me with the Monsters of Film festival, where I saw six films, and now the Stockholm International Film Festival where I’ve seen eight. Last year I saw ten films at the latter festival, and I enjoyed most of them, but overall I liked this year’s crop even better.…

November Pieces Of My Mind #2

Oh, will you look at that? Ten weeks into the term I find the staff lunch room with microwave ovens and free tea. Typical academic precariat long-distance commuter. Last year I started to let the students suggest questions for the exam. The more I think about this idea the more I like its ramifications. Free…

Gaming Retreat

This past weekend saw my sixth annual boardgaming retreat: 43 hours in good company at our usual small Nyköping hotel, all meals included. My buddy Oscar organises everything. There were a bit more than 20 of us this year after a few late cancellations, mainly guys in our 30s and 40s. After Sunday lunch I…

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…

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…