archaeology

Tag archives for archaeology

Hagbard’s Scaffold

Sweden’s bedrock has been entirely abraded by the inland ice. It sanded down the country like a big wood planer, leaving smooth lovely outcrops known as hällar all over the place. This is the main natural prerequisite of Sweden’s rich rock art tradition. Most of it dates from the Bronze Age, 1700–500 BC. Denmark hardly…

Fornvännen’s Summer Issue On-Line

Fornvännen 2015:2 is now on-line on Open Access. A reminder: the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters who publish the journal decided on a six-month delay in order to protect the viability of the journal’s paper version. Evert Baudou & Ingmar Jansson on Leo Klejn’s opinions of Mats Malmer’s work. Legends talking about legend talking about…

This is the definitive study of English cruciform brooches. Now and then a study comes along that is so comprehensive, and so well argued, that nobody will ever be likely to even try to eclipse it. It is my firm belief that future work on English cruciform brooches will strictly be footnotes to Toby Martin.…

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…

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…

Fornvännen’s Winter Issue On-Line

Fornvännen 2015:1 is now on-line on Open Access. Sven Sandström on fake Paleolithic art in France. Andreas Toreld and Tommy Andersson on sensational new discoveries on the carved slabs of the Kivik burial cairn. They’ve been endlessly discussed for over 200 years, and now the whole game just changes. Birgit Maixner on a new Late 1st…

An Unfortunate Name Change

Sweden’s largest and oldest contract archaeology organisation with five units spread across the country is known as ”UV”. This is an old in-house abbreviation that means either uppdragsverksamheten or undersökningsverksamheten, “the contract section” or “the investigation section”. After more than half a century as part of the National Heritage Board, UV was recently severed from…

Danish Castle Road Trip

I spent last week in Denmark at a friendly, informative and rather unusual conference. The thirteenth Castella Maris Baltici conference (“castles of the Baltic Sea”) was a moveable feast. In five days we slept in three different towns on Zealand and Funen and spent a sum of only two days presenting our research indoors. The…

Scanty Copper Alloy From Landsjö

Late Iron Age settlements are full of copper alloy objects, making them the preferred site category of metal detectorists. High Medieval castle sites, on the other hand, are quite poor in these often distinctive and informative finds. The picture above shows all the copper alloy and lead that my team of ~15 found in over…