Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
February Pieces Of My Mind #3
Couldn’t quite catch a word in an old Blur song. Turned out to be “jumbojet” with the stress placed on the wrong syllable. JumBOjet. Grötrimslyriker, as we say in Swedish.
The Swedish Anti-Theft Association offers tags for keyrings. You put the tag on your keyring and pay an annual fee, and then if someone finds your keyring they can just drop it in a mailbox and the SATA will send it to you. But I’ve been wondering what happens if you don’t pay the fee. So I asked. Turns out that the SATA periodically deletes the addresses of those who don’t pay the fee. If they receive a keyring that belongs to a non-payer whose adress they haven’t deleted yet, then they remove the tag and send the keyring to its owner. But if you quit paying the fee and leave the tag on your keyring for a long time, then you run the risk of your keys ending up in the SATA’s office without any way to get the keys sent to you. Though I’m pretty sure the SATA keeps database backups like everybody else…
Oh, for fuck’s sake, ResearchGate. You’re emailing published academics and telling them “You have a new achievement”. Are you actually Pokémon Go?
New research behaviour of mine: photographing journal papers and archive documents with my phone and reading them later at home.
I remember Eudora, Pegasus Mail and Thunderbird. Been many years since I used a local email client.
Big milestone in my book project: finalised the table of contents. This means that I’ve told myself what to write and now I just have to follow orders.
Raoul is from Old Norse Raðulfr. Reuel is from the Old Testament.
Love going past the morning traffic jam into town on a bus or commuter train.
I just got my Y-chromosome haplotype from Family Tree DNA. They tell me I’m an R1b / R-M269, the dominant haplogroup in Western Europe. It’s common in Sweden too, though here R1b is only the second most common one after I1. R1 probably came into Europe with the Corded Ware about 2900 cal BC. All my closest matches are Englishmen. Looks like there’s an immigrant not far back on the paternal line… Waiting for my mitocondrial typing to arrive as well.
Made a neat little discovery that goes into my book. “Note also another interesting case of 16th century re-use of epigraphy at Stegeborg. A runestone from the 11th century has been found built into the north-east corner of the western gate house, in masonry dated to Johan III’s building campaign of 1572–90. The runes faced outward and would have been visible to all. It is not known whether the runestone was brought to the castle islet by King Johan’s architect, or by Medieval builders, or if indeed it was originally erected at Stegeborg. The islet is high enough that its apex was above sea level already in the time of the runestones. There is an apparently original combination of a sea barrage like the one at Stegeborg and a runestone at Baggensstäket east of Stockholm.”
Another little discovery: it seems super common for Swedish families to cultivate a baseless Walloon origin myth, like my own has done. And 100 years ago, Swedish eugenics scholars taught the Swedish public that all dark-haired people are kind of crap except the 17th century Walloon immigrant ironworkers…
My buddy at the National Archives just told me about the first Rundkvist! He’s not far back: my grandpa’s grandpa Johan Jansson (1853-1925) broke the patronymic tradition and took the family name. He was from Östra Ämtervik parish in Värmland. Nobody in the family has remembered his name, probably because his son Sven was divorced by his wife for his alcoholism and died aged only 48. And then his son, my grandpa Kurt, died aged only 40 in a car crash that luckily spared my grandma. So the links back to Värmland were cut early.
Found this super stationary branch of the family tree. From at least the late 1600s and for 200 years on, they live in three neighbouring hamlets near Sunne in Värmland. And they keep repeating the same few names for their sons.
35 years later it hits me. Rick O’Shay, the Western comic strip hero, is named “ricochet”.