archaeology

Tag archives for archaeology

Nerman’s Weaponry

Professors tend to have a few pet issues that they emphasise time and again over their careers as researchers and supervisors. This is quite clear with two 1960s-70s professors in my field. In Bertil Almgren’s case, one such pet issue was the source-critical quality of archaeological information. In Mats Malmer’s case, one was clear and…

Uneven Sites & Monuments Attention

The Swedish national register of archaeological sites is one of the best in the world. But if you ever consider using it for any kind of research purpose, have a look first at the register’s map of sites just west of Örkelljunga in Scania. The diagonal line is the parish boundary between Tåssjö and Rya.…

A Medieval Lady’s Seal

My detectorist friend and long-time collaborator Svante Tibell found a seal matrix in the field next to Skällvik Castle this past summer. In the Middle Ages of Sweden, people of means didn’t sign their names to documents. They carried seals around, with which they made imprints into chalk-mixed wax, and these were affixed to paperwork…

From 2014 on, Swedish metal detectorists have had to report all finds datable to before 1850 to the authorities. I have recently shown in a note in Fornvännen that this rule came about by mistake, and that it has broken the County Archaeologist system. It takes hours for a county heritage administrator to process one…

Announcing My New Essay Collection

In December of last year I finished a collection of short humorous archaeological essays. It’s my sixth book, my first one in Swedish, my first one aimed at the lay reader. Since then I’ve been waiting for established Swedish publishing houses to pronounce judgement on it. Five of them have now turned it down, none…

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…

Help Ben Study Medieval Scabbard Chapes

Here’s a guest entry by my correspondent Ben Bishop who’s doing a project on Medieval scabbard mounts using data from the Portable Antiquites Scheme (PAS). —– I am researching medieval English scabbard chapes formed of folded copper alloy. They date from the period c. AD 1050–1300. The overwhelming majority are fragmentary when found and recognisable…

All Unconserved Finds Must Die Die Die?

Several colleagues have told me this bizarre rumour that I hope is unfounded. Contract archaeologists at two sites on Öland and in Småland have found more Medieval coins than their conservation budget can cover. So they have to prioritise which coins to conserve. So far so good, and congrats on the lovely finds. But. According to this…

Detectorist John Kvanli is the chairman of Rygene detektorklubb and one of Norway’s most prominent proponents of collaboration between amateurs and professionals in field archaeology. Of course he has a tattoo! It’s an Urnes brooch from c. AD 1100, in the final exquisite Christian style of Scandinavian animal art. John tells me he has found…

Our second week at Skällvik Castle proved a continued small-finds bonanza, and we also documented some pretty interesting stratigraphy. More of everything in Building IV. In addition to more coins of Magnus Eriksson, dice and stoneware drinking vessels, we also found a lot of points for crossbow bolts. It’s starting to look like the castle…