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Arrival Songs

The English language has a rich tradition of songs celebrating the joys of orgasm. Here are just a few examples. Sumer Is Icumen In (anon., 13th century) Come Again (John Dowland, 1597) Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (Charles Wesley, 1745) Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing (Robert Robinson, 1757) Come, Ye Disconsolate (Thomas Moore, 1816) Oh…

Here’s a neat case of self-perpetuating archaeology. Medieval history spawned sword & sorcery literature. This literature spawned tabletop fantasy role-playing games and Medieval re-enactment groups. These games and groups spawned live action role playing. And now the larpers have created a market for faux-Medieval coinage, which they are buying at game stores, using at larps…

Shades of Dr. Jones

I’ve read Marilyn Johnson’s forthcoming book Lives in Ruins. Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble. It’s a collection of lively and enthusiastic portraits of contemporary archaeologists in their professional environment. Some may find the tone a bit too enthusiastic, pantingly so in parts, but that’s a matter of taste. Archaeologists should arguably be…

August Pieces Of My Mind #2

14 August marked 200 years of unbroken peace for Sweden. Eight generations. Most of us don’t even remember the name of the latest ancestor of ours who survived a war. Other people get moments of déjà vu. I get moments of dissociation, when Martin Rundkvist seems not to be me. Neat serendipitous combination of podcasts.…

Saturday Morning Mushrooms

Mushroom picking again this morning, this time in the area between Lakelets Skinnmossen and Knipträsket. Found more velvet and birch boletes than we cared to pick. King bolete, Stensopp/Karl Johan, Boletus edulis Orange birch bolete, Tegelsopp, Leccinum versepelle Velvet bolete, Sandsopp, Suillus variegatus Chanterelle, Kantarell, Cantharellus cibarius Gypsy mushroom, Rynkad tofsskivling, Rozites caperata False saffron…

The library of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters is (one of?) Scandinavia’s biggest research library (ies) for archaeology, the history of art and allied disciplines. Since it’s co-located with the archives of the National Heritage Board in the East Stable next to the Swedish History Museum, it’s an amazing place to do research. And…

Crayfish Gastroliths

It’s the time of the year when it used to become legal to catch and sell Swedish crayfish (since 1994 there is no limit), and so the grocery stores sell Turkish and Chinese crayfish for a few weeks. The traditional way to eat them is to boil them with dill, salt and a little sugar,…

Friday Mushrooms

Has it really been almost four years since I blogged about mushrooms? This afternoon me and my wife repeated our September 8, 2010 expedition to the hills between Lakes Lundsjön and Trehörningen and picked almost a kilo of mushrooms in a bit more than an hour. We got: King bolete, Stensopp/Karl Johan, Boletus edulis Bay…

August Pieces Of My Mind #1

Another good Swedish word: försoffad, literally “becouched”, of people who have grown lazy and passive. Do the Syndics of Cambridge syn with their dics? I’ve started writing an essay collection based on the routines I’ve developed for party conversations about archaeology with laypeople. It sometimes makes me nervous to see all the things we design…

I’ve been reading a 1974 edition of Sigfrid Steinberg’s 1955 classic Five Hundred Years Of Printing. Overall I’ve found it interesting and instructive, with a fine touch of sarcastic humour. But I came across a few paragraphs on the value of universal literacy that are so alien to me that I almost had to rub…