Book Review: Lönn, Uppdragsarkeologi och forskning

The Department of Archaeology at the University of Gothenburg recently published a nice little book written in Swedish by the seasoned contract archaeologist Marianne Lönn: Uppdragsarkeologi och forskning, “contract archaeology and research”. Lönn’s main theses are:
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Viking Period Barrow Report On-Line

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As detailed before (here and here) I did a trial dig with friends in an undated great barrow near Sjögestad church in Östergötland last September. We secured samples that allowed radiocarbon dating to the Early Viking Period (9th century) and the identification of several plant species in small hearths that had been lit on the barrow as it was being erected.

I filed the excavation report the other day, and it is now available on-line in Swedish for all to read. Check it out! If anything’s hard to understand, don’t be afraid to ask.

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Rosie Lugosi at the Hootchy Kootchy Club

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Last night my wife and I celebrated the Chinese New Year with friends. First we had an Asian buffet and a few hours of raucous karaoke, then we went to the Hootchy Kootchy Club (their spelling, not mine…).

The HK Club is a recurring cabaret and party in central Stockholm. The theme is nebulously defined as “burlesque”, which in practice translated into a dominance of beautiful young femme dykes in immaculate 30s to 50s outfits. But the clientele was mixed as to age and orientation: the only notably under-represented demographic was young hetero guys. I for one didn’t miss them: it meant that hardly anybody drank too much or made a nuisance.
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Star Wars Lego Girls

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My 8-year old son is, like myself at that age, a big Star Wars fan. But his road to the stories has been more complicated than mine. Much of what he knows about them comes from a computer game version where everything is for some reason visualised as built out of legos. So he asks me a lot of confused questions that I can’t always answer.

Just now we had such a conversation where I learned that he had gotten all three main female characters mixed up: Luke Skywalker’s grandma, mother and sister were the same person to him. When I teased him about this he just replied, philosophically, “It’s kind of hard to tell when they’re made of legos”.

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Pan’s Labyrinth

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A few words about the Spanish fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth.

It’s extremely pretty, well made and finely acted.

It’s very violent, enough to gross me out, and unsuitable for anyone under the age of 20.

The plot is driven entirely by the pointless cruelty of a psychopath. Pan’s Labyrinth is thus a story of pointless suffering and cruelty, which is a genre I loathe. That’s what the real world is like, I don’t need that in fiction as well.

Oh, and the title’s mistranslated. It’s actually El Laberinto del Fauno, “The Faun’s Labyrinth”.

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History Carnival 48

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It’s high time for a first History Carnival here at ScienceBlogs.

Science is the systematic study of source material to find out what the world is like or has been like. If a scientist’s source material is written matter and pictures and her questions are about what people’s lives were like in the past, then she is a historian.

I’m an archaeologist, meaning that my questions are similar to a historian’s though my source material is the wordless material culture of the past. I’ll be your host for the 48th History Carnival — welcome to Aardvarchaeology!
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