Monthly Archives: October 2008

Dark stories for dark nights

I was out shopping a few days ago and found some favourites authors at a second hand book store:

Cornell Woolrich


Dashiell Hammet


Raymond Chandler

I just love these covers as well as the noir fiction, detective and suspense stories. They’re small pieces of stylized art. 

Magnus Reuterdahl

Neolithic Fisheries – Osteoarchaeology of fish remains in the Baltic Sea region

Last Friday I sat in on Carina Olson defence of her doctoral thesis; Neolithic Fisheries – Osteoarchaeology of fish remains in the Baltic Sea region at Stockholm University. Her dissertation is of importance for those interested in fish osteology and marine economy during the Neolithic’s especially regarding the Pitted ware culture along the east coast of Sweden and on the islands of the Baltic Sea.

I’ll get back with some notes on the papers in her dissertation but one that I felt was especially interesting is paper III; Selectivity across the millennia. Prehistoric vs. modern Baltic cod fisheries by Karin Limburg, Yvonne Walther, Bongghi Hong, Carina Olson and Jan Storå as it introduces some new elements and interesting openings within osteology. This concerns life history of cod during the Neolithic’s and present, the authors are trying to say something of the how the environment has changed from then to now and how that has affected the cod. There are several factors that are in work, such as the salinity of the water, the temperature, natural predators, the industrial fishery etc. 

The thesis is available in an pdf file here. ‘

Magnus Reuterdahl

The Nature Reserve Storforsen

Last Saturday I made a trip to the Nature Reserve Storforsen, some miles north of Älvsbyn.

Winter is on its way; the weather was fine but it was cold as you can see on the pictures below the night frost was still clearly visible at 2 p.m. and small pools of water had frozen to ice.



Storforsen or the grand rapids are the biggest rapids in the Nordic countries and it is a might sight. On the way to the rapids one passes an area where the rapids once rushed is today a beautiful landscape of smooth slabs of rock and giants’ cauldrons.



The great rivers of the north are not just spectacular sceneries it is also part of the cultural heritage, along the watercourses people have lived and worked. They’ve been used for fishing and for transportation. Along the courses there are several traces of human activities; rock art, settlements, hearths, remains from log-driving etc. At this site a lot of old houses have been collected as an open-air museum. In the summertime one can visit the houses and get to see examples on how people have lived and worked since at least the 17th century. There are also examples of different forest related industries such as tar-production.


Two of the buildings, these were built ca 1920-30.

A tar pile, on the roof massive amounts of chopped wood was placed and slowly consumed by fire and out through the pipe came the tar.


As I said before it was cold and I wasn’t really clothed for the occasion so the visits became a quick stop.


Magnus Reuterdahl

A weekend of no posts

No posts this weekend due to work on an application for a post-graduate study at the Archaeology institution, Stockholm University. It’s almost uncanny the way they always seem to coincide with the fact that I am working far away from home and my beloved (and in these situation much needed) books. Nevertheless I managed to produce something I hope is interesting and smart enough.

 I took a few breaks during the weekend and visited the nature reserve Storforsen (the grand rapids) and took a walk to Hägnan – an open air museum in Gammelstad. In Hägnan one can see, and when opened also enter, buildings from 18th and 19th century. The buildings are different kind of farm-buildings from different parts of Norrbotten and are arranged as different farmsteads. The environment is beautiful as are the buildings and I took a lot photos.

 I’ll post some pictures and little more info about these two excursions later on during the week.

 Magnus Reuterdahl

Digging comics?

I loved comics since I was a child and I still love them. My taste has changed somewhat over the years, during the 90’s I worked in a second hand shop that sold books, records and comics. This gave me a wide education in the history of comics and at one point in time I had quite a collection of rare editions. Most have been sold over the years due to other interests and lack of space. Sometimes you get the chance to buy them again in other formats and I found this a few months ago, a real bargain if you like underground comics. This 2 in 1 edition contains The best of Bijou funnies and The Apex Treasury of Underground comics.

This 160 + 192 p edition was originally released in 1975 and reissued in 1981. It contains classic artists and characters, in the Bijou part one can find Robert Crumb’s Projunior & Honeybunch,  Jay Lynch’s Nard n’ Pat, Skip Williamson’s Snappy Sammy’s, Justin Green’s Little Poo Poo and in the Apex part Robert Crumb’s Whiteman and Lenore Goldberg an her girl commandos, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Gilbert Shelton’s amazing Freak brothers and Fat Freddy’s cat (my fav among these) among several others. These comics were made during the last years of the 60’s and the early 70’s and contain full frontal nudity, drugs and a lot of psychedelica but also politics and artistry mixed up with a great potion of love. These comics are an important but often forgotten part of the psycadelic 60’s as well as the music and flower power movement. These comics reflect the era and the environment in which they were created and thus are yet another illustration of the psychedelic experience.

Magnus Reuterdahl

One hour in company of thugs

the Kray twins

Photo by David Bailey

Some years ago I read the book Profession of Violence: Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John Pearson. At the time I read a lot of books in true crime literature genre. This and Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing by Lewis E. Lawes are two favourite.

There is something intriguing with the Kray twins who represent another type of organized crime than the mafia in Italy and in the USA. The Kray twins are more raw and primal in their desire to climb the ladder to power. With brute force and insane behavior mixed with street smarts, and to some extent lack of competitors, they ruled the East End during the 50’s and 60’s. The myth has also probably a lot to do the cool slick style portrayed in many of the photos of the Krays, showing them in smart three-piece suits; looking more the part of stars than thugs.

The Krays were the identical twins Reginald “Reggie” Kray (1933 – 2000) and Ronald “Ronnie” Kray (1933 -1995) commonly referred to as Ron or Ronnie. The Kray twins were nice guys, though the myth claims the streets of East End never been safer than during the mob rule of the Krays, they were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, torture, murders among other things. In 1968 they were finally arrested and convicted (1969), and sentenced to life imprisonment.

I had more or less forgotten about the Krays until the other day when I found this documentary on, it’s a few years old but still interesting and including a lot of people who were either in the gang or were part of bringing them down.

By the way I think that I’ll re read the book again as soon as I find it somewhere in my bookshelves.

The Kray Story Part 1

The Kray Story Part 2

The Kray Story Part 3

The Kray Story Part 4

The Kray Story Part 5


Magnus Reuterdahl

The story of Tengbom organ façade in St Nikolai’s Church

I can’t say that that I had any knowledge about this affair before I stumbled across this article on the National heritage board’s (RAA) webpage. By chance I opened it and found an interesting article regarding a subject I otherwise probably never would have stumbled upon; an organ façade and the fights concerning its restoration or not. In this case the reinstatement of Ivar Tengbom’s organ façade in St Nikolai’s Church Halmstad.

The article concerns the issues on the restoration, the history of the façade, about the church’s purchase and installation of a new organ even though Tengbom’s was considered a cultural heritage and legally protected and therefore was to be restored and reinstated. An interesting tale of a struggle between different interests.

Originally this article, written by Marianne Lundberg and Niclas Fredriksson both working at RAA, was published in Orgelforum (3 2007:3 p. 12-16).

 Well, read all about here;

Tengbom façade on St Nikolai’s Church in Halmstad; clarification (In English)

Tengbomsfasaden i S:t Nikolai kyrka i Halmstad– ett klargörande (In Swedish)

After reading the article, that is interesting from several angles, it strengthen my belief that we need a strong and alert, as in this case, Governmental supervision to ensure the cultural heritage in all its form.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Post # 200 is a flyer

It’s that time again; it’s archaeo-anthro-bio-lingu time with the Fourth Stone Hearth blog carnival,  time hosted by Clashing Culture. As always there are lots of informational, interesting and on occasion mind boggling posts. While you’re at it Clashing Culture got its hands full as they also hosts the Carnival of the Liberals, check it out. So lots and lots of post to read and blogs to discover.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Gammelstads kyrkstad (Church town) a world heritage site

Now I’ve gotten me a internet connection so hopefully I’ll be a little bit more active that I’ve been the last months.

As I currently live within a world heritage site I’ve walked around and taken some pictures. The parts that are easily accessible are the visible parts, in this case the church and buildings that make up the church town.


Lets start with the church that was built in the 15thcentury, consecrated in 1492 or possible a few years earlier during the final years of the middle ages (in Sweden we normally say that middle ages end around the coronation of king Gustav Vasa 1523 or in connection with the reformation of the church to Protestantism). The church is known as Nederlulea church.


The baptismal font is most probably older than the church. As you can see it is two parts whereas I believe the top part (the font) is the older.


The frescoes in the chancel was found under the plaster and restored in 1909 and probably painted by the famous Albertus Pictor during the 15th century.


This round stone is a bit of a mystery.

When first I looked at it I supposed it was grave stone from the Iron Age as it looks much like the circular stones that mark some graves in the southern and middle parts of Sweden. It is ca 45-55 cm in diameter. Then I noticed the markings and supposed that those were of Sámi origin. I’ve later larded that the stone is a bit of a mystery, it can’t be connected to a grave, though this is not impossibility, and the carvings are not Sámi.

If I’ve understood it right the common belief is that the stone has been placed in the church sometime during the last few hundred years and that the carvings have been made by someone to look like Sámi markings. Exacting isn’t it?

This church has like many others traces from several ages, the pulpit in Baroque style was mad in 1712 and painted in 1742.


The church town I s made up by about 500 wooden cottages. The oldest written source concerning the church town is from the 17thcentury by Johannes Bureus who visited it in the year 1600. The cottages have been used and are still used for accommodation for churchgoers as they visited the church on church festivals, for example Christmas and Easter. This was also used by the state to collect taxes from the churchgoers who often lived far from the church.


The oldest part of the Church town is from the first half of the14thcentury. I’ll get back to you with some pictures and some facts of the archaeological part of Gammelstad church town.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Back in Lulea

Today I start my new employment in Norrbotten at the county administrative board in Norrbotten.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Ps. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t take any more pictures at Gotland, due to the fact that I had forgotten the charger. Ds.

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