Daily Archives: July 23, 2007

RAA’s information sign at Ale stenar

In Sweden the debate regarding the new information sign at Ale stenar, a stone ship monument in southern Sweden (Scania) published by RAA (The National Heritage Board) continues. Martin Rundkvist at Aardvarchaeology gives a good overview regarding the critique in his two posts (here and here). Martin has promised to publish pictures of the sign on his blog as soon as possible. The discussion is also running at Arkeologiforum, though mainly in swedish. But there are one intresting post in english regarding the finds that were made by the Technical unit (UV Teknik) of the Archaeological Excavation Department (UV) of the Swedish National Heritage Board (RAA) conducted in autumn 2006 georadar and magnetometer measurements in and around Ales Stenar.

I do agree with Martin that the signs should display “the best available science, making clear what the consensus among professional researchers is“. But I am sorry to say, many information signs do not hold up to that standard. The signs are often the first and perhaps the only information channel to a lot of people regarding our ancient monuments therefore it is very important that thay are as correct as possible. It is also important that they besides beeing correct are easy to understand and regards the actual monument. On many signs that I’ve seen the information is only general, for example: mounds are graves normally dated to the early Iron Age, evan worse on other the iformation is wrong or outdated. The signs made in later years are most often made by the county administrative boards, in general I would say that they are better than the ones RAÄ made in the 80’s and 90’s but still there are a lot of missinformation on the signs mostly due to old references or negligence.

I would like to emphasize that in this case RAÄ is the editor responsible for the publication of this sign. When a government authority makes statements like the ones on this sign, that is an offical document, it is of the up most importance that the data and information is correct. As I still havn’t seen this sign I won’t demand it uprooted or rewritten, a least not yet.

The discussion will continue but this all for now.

Magnus Reuterdahl

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Bones of wild boar (Sus scrofa)

This weekend I took the time to prepare a shoulder of pork from a wild boar that we’ve been given by friend. Besides the meat it also contained the bones, an scapula, a Humerus, an Ulna and a Radius. As the Osteologist that I am I wanted the bones for my bone collection, so after preparing the meal I started on the bones. The meal was baked in the oven. To make the bones clean I boiled them twice to get rid of residues of meat, marrow and tendons. This is not the best way to do it, but I have found that it works farly well if the bones have been baked in the oven before hand, another metod is descirbed in the Bone room. This wild boar is quite young which you can see on the photos, as the bones have not fully ossified.

The Scapula

Scapula wild boar 

Scapula wild boar 2

The distal part of the Scapula, here one can see that the bone have not fully ossified.

Connected to the Scapula is the Humerus (the bone in the upper part of the arm).

The Humerus

Humerus wild boar

The Humerus and to the right the not yet ossified trochlea.

Humerus wild boar

Here you can see how the trochlea fits the Humerus distal part. The Humerus is in turn connected to the Ulna

Ulan wild boar

…and the Ulna is connected to the Radius.

radius Wild boar

The Radius is in three pieces. The distal part, the left, seems to be quite flat, this i s due to the butchering of this wild boar.

And so my bone reference collection has grown yet a bit bigger and the meat proved to be a tender and delicious meal.

Here you can see some pictures of Wild boar (Sus Scrofa) and here is some information about them.

Magnus Reuterdahl


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