The winter issue of Fornvännen (2006:5) came from the printers yesterday. Some of the boxes were all wet after some talented individual had put them in a puddle, but most were fine. Here’s the contents.
Continue reading “Fornvännen’s Winter Issue”
Dear Reader, the new blog has received its first Google hit, less than a week after coming on-line. And what did this web surfer search for? Bikinis? Big Danish bog booty? No: “Aardvarchaeology”. It’s already a household name.
Grrlscientist is showing this gorgeous picture of a snake that one of her readers sent her. She’s actually running sort of a photo publishing service, giving her readers’ photography a bit of exposure. I’ve got to try this myself.
Dear Reader, if you have taken a really good archaeology photograph that you’d like to share with your fellow readers, feel free to email it to me, along with information about the subject and how you’d like it to be credited.
I usually divide my evenings between the computer and a book, interspersed with the occasional fondle-raid on my wife. Here are a few recommended reads from the past year.
A rescue excavation at Torreby on the smallish Danish island of Lolland has turned up two wealthy inhumations of the 1st century AD. One is an adult female with silver and gold objects including a finger ring, two S-shaped bead-string hooks, a pear-shaped filigree pendant and a “beaker”, as well as a large set of beads. The other is a boy of about 10 with spurs on his feet, a sign of hereditary status. Early Roman Period Lolland is known for the Hoby burial with two exquisite Mediterranean silver drinking cups sporting Homeric motifs in high relief.
I don’t know much yet, but here’s some information in Danish.
The first type of megalithic tomb occuring in Scandinavia is the dolmen, a table-like structure built of huge stone slabs and covered with a barrow. They were built in the Early Neolithic, c. 3600-3300 cal BC, and then re-used for centuries afterwards as other megalithic tomb types came and went. Just the other day, the indefatigable Klaus Ebbesen published a hefty catalogue of 404 particularly well-preserved Danish dolmens and the finds made in them, lavishly illustrated with 19th century watercolours. Out of almost 400 pages, only about 50 are text, the rest being glorious data.
“Dolmen” is a funny word. It’s Celtic in origin, meaning “stone table” in Breton. (You only see the table once the barrow’s been removed.) In Swedish, it means “the stuffed cabbage leaf” (Gr. dolma), or “the penis”. Our word for the tomb type is dös.
Dear Reader, let me tell you about my on-going research.
Written history begins late in Scandinavia. The 1st Millennium AD is an almost entirely prehistoric period here. Still, Scandinavian archaeologists have long had a pretty good general idea about late 1st Millennium political geography. The most affluent and powerful regions show up e.g. in hoard finds and expensively furnished graves. The distribution of Romanesque stone churches from the 11th and 12th centuries appears to correspond closely with the political heartlands of the preceding centuries, and with where there’s good arable land for Medieval agriculture. We know where the petty kings held sway: Jutland, Funen, Zealand, Scania, Bornholm, Västergötland, Östergötland, Öland, Gotland, the Lake Mälaren provinces, the coastal provinces of southern Norway.
Back in September, R.U. Sirius’s podcast turned me on to an intriguing new book. It’s named The Visionary State, a big, thick and pretty coffee-table book, with text by Erik Davis and countless jaw-droppingly beautiful photographs by Michael Rauner.
I miss the porn surfers. Around my old blog, you could always faintly hear the sound of one hand typing. But these hairy-palmed people haven’t made the jump to ScienceBlogs yet.
As a Christmas present for my eight-year-old son, I bought a miniature hammerworks and had the rubber gaskets (Sw. packningar) on my old steam engine replaced. The gaskets dried out years ago, so it’s never been possible to get the vapour pressure up in it. To my knowledge, Samuel had never seen a steam engine run before Christmas Eve.