Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
November Pieces Of My Mind #2
Thanks to metal detecting, the 7th century material has exploded with duckbill brooches / næbfibler in Denmark and conical brooches in Norway. The making of every one of those brooches resulted in a pile of durable, easily identified mould fragments. Where are those? Ground up into grog / chamotte for new moulds?
Distinguished older Slavic construction worker on commuter train is annoyed on cellphone, says kurva at least once in every sentence.
I need to stop reading US news. It’s sheer self-harm since I’m powerless to help.
Tea leaves flavoured with berries and cream. What is the substance that confers the aroma of cream? I hope they don’t pour cream onto the leaves. Anyway, I’ve never tried it.
Playing the boardgame Detective & Co. Gameplay was somewhat confused. In this game you only know which colour belongs to you, and two players believed that they played orange.
Odd expression in Planetary Report: “four times closer”. I conceptualise this as “one fourth of the distance”.
I posted an annoyed note recently about people getting context numbers confused during excavations. Somebody commented “Oh how boring”. This somehow stuck with me. I’m tempted to reply “Well, I guess not all of us are mentally geared towards scientific exactitude”. But I won’t. Because it would be mean. And worse, most likely completely ineffective as an insult. Comparable to “I guess not all of us have a complete collection of the Swedish Ant Farm Association’s newsletter”.
About the Mick Rock movie Shot. “I was lucky to shoot Bowie and Reed before they were really a big deal.” Maybe that should be “If I hadn’t shot Bowie and Reed at that time they would never have become such a big deal.”
Kebab places are extremely reluctant to serve small helpings. They prefer to give me three times the food I want and a take-away box.
Klavs Randsborg, dynamic Danish archaeology professor, died Saturday 12 November.
WTF. Sponge cake as the basal layer of a cheesecake?!
Some Roma beggars display religious effigies. I wonder if that really works in Sweden. To me they might as well heft a daikon radish.
So weird when Adele Adkins (26) sings lyrics written from the perspective of a 50-y-o multiple divorcee.
Just had to explain to a young scholar that when you submit a manuscript file to a journal, questions of font and type size are irrelevant. “You can submit in 35 p green Comic Sans if you like, it still only takes me 5 sec to change it to something I like better.”
Heading for Kavalla and two weeks of reading & writing at the Swedish Institute. Screw you, Swedish November!
Rode two Embraer 195s Stockholm – Vienna – Thessaloniki.
The Kavallans are wearing sensible November clothes. Sensible that is if you’re in Stockholm. I’m walking around in just a shirt above my belt.
Lunch: sardines cooked with onions, mustard and parsley. And a dish of oil-simmered horta greens. Only the absence of garum dates this meal after AD 400.
I’m not a great tourist ambassador. I mainly take pictures of buildings in severe disrepair.
The some-time live music bar was almost empty. Instead I found a recently opened boardgame café full of people. I had a cup of hazelnut cocoa, but I couldn’t find the courage to ask a bunch of young Greeks to play Saboteur with me. Next time I’ll be braver.
I’m hiking the Water Trail north from Kavalla into the hills, on the conduit that fed the town’s aqueduct.
I like the bedrock here. It’s gneiss like I’m used to, not some weird-ass recent sedimentary.
Unripe olives taste really bad.
The water conduit and aqueduct remained functional until WW2.
Under Ottoman rule, the Christians of Kavalla were exempt from taxes in return for funding and organising upkeep of the water conduit. This involved a lot of chalk powder, linseed oil and cotton wool.