A Lot On My Plate

Feels like I’ve got a bit too much on my plate right now. Tonight’s boardgame night, so I need to get everything packed up before dinner. “Pack up what?”, I hear you say. Well, I’m spending the next couple of days digging & sieving test pits in a cave near Enköping where a Bronze Age spearhead has been found. While I’m there I’m also going to do half a day or so of renewed metal detecting at one of the hoard sites that proved non-productive back in April. The farmer has ploughed and harrowed the spot so new stuff may have emerged up into detector reach. During fieldwork I also have to host & chair a board meeting with the Skeptics and make sure somebody gets Juniorette to school and back every day for her first week of second grade.

The week after that I need to prepare a talk on the picture stones of Gotland, hand in a short book review and copy-edit the contents of the Skeptic Society’s quarterly. And then, 2½ weeks from now, I’m off to Visby for a symposium about those picture stones.

All I can do now is list the things I’ve got to do in priority order and focus on them one at a time. What about you, Dear Reader? Got a lot to fix these days?

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

25 thoughts on “A Lot On My Plate”

  1. Off to Visby -as I recall the damp air over there makes the evenings extra chilly. And we are headed for the autumn rains… you had better stay indoors.
    — — — — — — — — —

    YOU have a lot on your plate? Did you watch the last episode of Dexter? Single father, serial killer, blood analyst for the Miami PD and now taking care of a would-be vigilant, while his next victim recovered from the drugs too early and escaped from the trunk, all while the cops were coming around the corner?

    Dexter would have considered the “archaeologist ourunning giant stone boulder” trope a luxury!


  2. Sounds like a lot to do, but also a lot of fun!

    Ah, Enköping — “Sveriges närmaste stad”. Or, to those of us who have lived there and moved out: “Sveriges i det närmaste stad”…

    Attempt at translation for non-Swedes: Enköping uses the tagline “Sweden’s Nearest City” to indicate that from there, you can easily reach a lot of other places with a large share of Sweden’s population, businesses etc. (As if this was a good claim to fame…) This is then jokingly travestied by instead calling it “Sweden’s Nearly City”…


  3. Right now there’s 1003 active orders–a new record for my deparment. Summer hasn’t even really ended yet, so I expect this number to climb.

    I spent the weekend cleaning the house, and recovering from vacation. Projects are waiting.

    I, too, would appreciate a copy of the picture stones symposium. Thank you.


  4. Those ship burials in Estonia are pretty damn wild. A journalist mailed me some questions today that I answered as best I could. In my opinion, it must be a pair of war graves, where Scandies have been in a battle with good enough results that they weren’t wiped out, but poor enough that they had to bury tens of their fallen fellows on a beach and leave PDQ.


  5. Good luck and fingers crossed!
    Me, I hardly feel like I had a vacation at all. Too many things to keep juggling and too little grey matter stil functioning…


  6. -What the &$%£ ? Sunglass spam!
    (metallic voice)….Exterminate! (ZZZZAP)

    — — — — —
    So the ships are from ca. 700 AD. Is this a previously thinly documented period? I thought the clinker-building technology acted like a fuse that made the “viking age” catapult from its iron-age background, but apparently there was a lot going on at the time before the long-distance sea raiders could get organised. Population pressure? Tribal units getting better organised?


  7. There probably was a lot going on. People developed new ways to use this novel contraption called a sail. It made them far more mobile. The Baltic Sea was an ideal testing ground for new boating strategies. There are all kinds of winds and waves, and both short and long travel opportunities. And the boats could be built much larger, enabling more stuff to trade and/or a bigger raiding party.

    So I was hoping that Martin would have time to write something more about the background than just the armed skirmish and mass burial story that has already been discussed in the media.

    And to Steven Blowney: Sorry, but I don’t have anything to do with the excavations in Saaremaa, and have no information about their publishing plans. I’m an engineer who happens to be interested in the history of technology, and its influence on society. The introduction of sails to the Baltic must have been a major event that forced recognizable changes to life along the shores.


  8. Birger, I’m getting a LOT of spam these days and the filter isn’t working well. I look forward to Sb’s platform migration.

    Clinker goes back at least to the 4th century in Scandinavia. The mast & sail show up on picture stones in the 5th or 6th century.

    Lassi, there is no scholarly publication on the Saaremaa finds. All I’ve read of a technical nature is an as yet unpublished paper on the human bones in the first boat. So I have little to go on. I’ve tried to contact the excavator to no avail.


  9. Too bad much of the pre-Christian stories were purged, the formative period after the Roman iron age and before the “viking age” must in its way have been as interesting as the Greek archaic period.
    — — — — — —

    OK, I want the “Black Ice” used in Neuromancer to fry the brains of people you do not like (in this case, spammers!)
    “Wholesale Jerseys Online Store” -DESTROY!!!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr6gCR8KTTk


  10. Oops better video quality here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdrB041F7pg&feature=related

    Something for local English archaeologits? “The changing landscape of England” http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-landscape-england.html

    The world’s first female TV news anchor -Gun Hägglund- has died. She started reading the TV news in Sweden 1958, 3 years after she started reading the radio news.

    (Swedish-language article) “Tv-profilen Gun Hägglund är död” http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/tv-profilen-gun-hagglund-ar-dod


  11. @ Lassi: Thank you, anyway, for the word up. I’ll start the process of seeing if I can find something. What area of the history of technology interests you?


  12. It feels like I have quite a lot on too… Lessee:
    @ paper on blogging (yes, I don’t know either) due by the 30th, sort of exists in early version
    @ by then also formal proposal for a volume I’m editing to the series committee, not all contributors have yet sent me necessary details but I probably have enough to fudge it
    @ take son to a preserved railway and meet up with a friend there
    @ return son to his beloved mother some days later
    @ write another essentially secondary paper for a conference at the end of September
    @ read as many primary sources for the Norman Conquest as I can in preparation for teaching a new course next term
    @ get through enough stuff about charter production that I can update my own paper for the edited volume before I have to write its introduction…
    @ keep all the plates spinning on the final details (library of congress classification, maps) for a big numismatics volume of which I am copy-editor and series committee responsible
    @ and maybe write a few blog posts

    It’s not quite at the queue-it-all-up and hope level you describe, but it’s going to be pretty continuous. I need to learn to say no to some of these things!


  13. Sounds like some interesting stuff though! Does “primary sources” mean facsimiles of 11th century manuscripts?

    One thing though. You’re way past the career point where you should accept a copy-editing job without also getting editorial credit.


  14. Alas, no, published sources only, and rather a lot of them which means this other stuff really has to be got shot of.

    The copy-editing job was given me six years ago now, and just hasn’t quite got to press yet (not my fault). It’s going this month and I am getting on the half-title page, at least, and a joint credit on the Bibliography, of which I contributed about a fifth.

    Now I need to read the rest of your posts to see how your ventures went!


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