Jonathan’s Mortuary House

i-070b5748450db9b5737096a784131219-dodshuset.jpgMy friend and colleague Jonathan Lindström is a talented man. He started out as a teen amateur astronomer and local historian of his dad’s coastal Estonian heritage, became a field archaeologist, then an ad copy-writer, then a museum staff writer and artist, and now he’s a freelance science writer and artist contracted by Sweden’s largest publishing house.

Jonathan called me the other day and told me a new kids’ book he’s been telling me about had come from the printers. It’s named Dödshuset. Mysteriet från stenåldern, “The House of Death: a Stone Age mystery”, and it’s all about a contract excavation he directed back in 1993. I went by his place after work and received an inscribed copy — incredible stuff!

Get this. The man excavates the well-preserved remains of a unique mortuary house full of cool finds from about 2400 cal BC (very late Corded Ware or Battle Axe Culture, if you must know). He produces a report, a monograph and a number of papers. And now he’s turned all his data and 14 years of thinking about the site into a lavishly illustrated 62-page pop-sci book for kids! And he covers every imaginable aspect of the site, from discovery and documentation through architectural reconstruction, osteology and interregional cultural context to cosmological models and religious beliefs. Our shared archaeological hero Mats P. Malmer even makes an appearance. I stand in awe.

If you know Swedish, buy the book for yourself and any kids you happen to have around. If you don’t know Swedish, buy the rights to the thing and publish it abroad!

Lindtröm, Jonathan. 2007. Dödshuset. Mysteriet från stenåldern. Stockholm: Bonnier Carlsen. 62 pp. ISBN 978-91-638-4173-6.

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8 thoughts on “Jonathan’s Mortuary House

  1. OH how totally awesome! Your friend really knows how to work a higher education! I imagine I’ll be waiting a while for the North American edition, though…awwwwwwwww…



  2. I’m trying to order this for a friend who speaks Swedish, because I think she’d love it. I, however, don’t speak Swedish, and I am failing utterly to navigate my way through that website. Is there any way of buying it — from the website, direct from your colleague, from any country’s version of Amazon? I need to have it shipped to the UK, but I don’t need the book itself in English — just the ordering process!

    Help! Help!

    If you have suggestions to offer, please email me at accademia_dei_lincei “at”

    Thank you……


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