Monthly Archives: December 2008

Happy New Year

See you on the other side!

Magnus Reuterdahl


Four Stone Hearth the New Year edition

I love the New Year, for me it symbolizes both an end and a beginning. This edition marks the end of the year and gives away the torch for a new year filled with posts on our beloved subjects. I’ve spent Christmas searching the internet for interesting post and blogs, and I feel that I’ve found a bunch of good stuff.

As the new year starts with January so will this edition of 4SH with a little help from a friend;


In bleach’d forbidding robes array’d
stern January treads the wold,
within his icy hand a blade
of lethal might – the cruel cold

Vainly the sun with slanting dreams beams
attempts the tyrant god to slay;
the naked boughs and frozen streams
feel still the rigours of his sway.

But when the twilight shades descend,
and heav’n unveils before our sight,
there shines a promise of the end
in visions of celestial light.

(as published in a Winter wish and other poems by H.P.L (1977))


H.P. Lovecraft

I think it’s interesting that most archaeologists and anthropologist I’ve met, like me, holds H.P. Lovecraft in high esteem. Maybe it’s just that we have great taste in academic subjects as well as literature or maybe it is as Martin Rundkvist proposes in this post.

As I’m on the subject of Lovecraft my eyes fell upon this article, a bit old I know, which in a far fetch way links my surname to both that of Lovecraft and Einstein. A fun read if you’re into a bit of conspiracy thinking.

While we’re on the subject of the weird and the unexpressible lets haste on to Neuroanthropolgy and a post on how the dead stay with us or rather how we perceive this phenomenon and the anthropological research concerning this, in other words a post on grief and embodied remembrances.

After that brief stop of seriousness we’ll continue onward in the field of popular culture, in this case an archaeologizing of the Watchmen comics at underwire. From comics to movies; Tom Arnold, Gary Busey and porn star Ron Jeremy, 3 cavemen in a movie equals Homo erectus. John Hawks have the full story. As we are on the note of creativity I’ll introduce you to Måns Sjöberg’s blog; he does great illustrations; here are a few with an archaeological and zooarchaeological theme.


This illustration of Neolithic seal hunters along with several others can be seen on his blog (published with the artist’s permission).

From the written word and illustrations to notes; at News for Medievalists comes a tale of newly discovered medieval music.

From the popular culture to academics; Julien Riel-Salvatore at A Very Remote Period Indeed gives us insight on the various topics his archaeology students currently are working on (Btw the referral to your wife is a gem; an anology Testimony of a …. gives me the creeps though).

More on anthropology education; Golublog introduces the pedagogy Guitar Hero and Youtube which somehow equals Sibelius & Hilary.

Ever heard of electronic Archaeology? I hadn’t! Shawn Graham has a blog named just that, in this post he discusses an online system for teaching among other things.

ArchaeoBlog gives us tips on further use of google earth.


Take a deep breath and dive into the Somatosphere, Erin Koch has a great article on “Microbes and Anthropology”.

During the last year I’ve read a lot of posts on Neanderthals on several blogs, obviously so has others; at Dienekes’ anthropology blog is a list of 13 posts, check out if you missed any. But I think they missed Mathilda’s and Evo and Proud’s late 2008 additions in Neanderthal related posts.

Do you know AIS? Do you walk on two legs? If the answer is no and yes then this post is for you! Moneduloides discusses human bipedal locomotion and AIS. (Of course the post is interesting for those knowing AIS as well).

From anatomy to intelligence – and the test of just that – Neuroanthroplogy responds on the issue and asks themselves and us what they tell and for whom they work.

Hear yea! Hear yea! Buddha was an archaeologist! Read all about it at the H-word. Headlines vs. contents, archaeology in the hands of journalists.

Archaeoastronomy has had a busy day! How so? Well combine questions on how the world started, the story of Ymir,  burglary and Derby and the answer is … 

Going from burglary to law; Steven Tills post on law and punishment in the middle ages, maybe something to pick up as an example in Derby, at the blog with the long name; Medieval History, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Writing Fiction.

Asa M Larssons blog Ting & Tankar (Things & Thoughts) normally blogs in Swedish but for 4SH she makes an exception in a post well suited for the New Years feast; Neolithic Alcoholic beverages, though nothing on toasting traditions of the era. If you’re interested in the Baltic Bioarchaeology meeting 2009 (Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology) Asa also has a post on that (in English). 

 I’ll end the carnival with a few announcement like posts 


The top 100 Anthropology blogs according to Christina Laun is announced at the Online Universities blog, I miss a lot of blogs I follow in here (and mine) but I’ve also found a few that are new to me. I qualified as Four Stone Hearth blog carnival is number 10.

As money can be spares after the holidays here’s a few free bees; Ohio Archaeology blog announces that The Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society Quarterly (later Ohio History) is available on-line for free. As I understand it this is a treat for those interested in information on Ohio Archaeology, Natural History or History. (). Yet another free online publication I stumbled upon is Anthropology & Health.

At last but not least a big congratulation to Aardvarchaeology for its two years and running at ScienceBlogs, I personally hopes for several to come.

Now it’s time to close the curtains and give room for another stage, the next edition of 4SH will be held at Moneduloides in 2009.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all who have hosted 4SH and all of you who write great blogs, you’ve all in some way opened my eyes for new input and ideas and thanks to all of you who has presented me with great posts to this edition.

Let’s hope 2009 will be a good year for bloggers, anthropologists, archaeologists, cultural heritage workers etc. around the world. 

As my body continues on its
my thoughts keep turning back
and bury themselves in days past.

Gustav Flaubert (1849)

Happy New Year

Magnus Reuterdahl

Submission call for Four Stone Hearth the New Year edition

I’ve already gotten some interesting submissions and found several good posts but I want more, so if you have posted something you want to share or if you’ve seen a great posting on anthropology in the widest (American) sense of that word; archaeology, socio-cultural anthropology, bio-physical anthropology, linguistic anthropology or something along those lines send me a mail or leave a comment.


Four stone hearth


Best wishes


Magnus Reuterdahl




Christmas greetings to ya all

First some important announcements;

The next Four Stone Hearth blog carnival  is but a week away and I would like to ask you to be creative during the holidays, if you are please let me know via a comment here or a mail. For you who have read something you feel should be a part of the next 4SH please do the same.


Neuroanthropology hosts the first yearly edition of the Best of Anthropology Blogging and calls for Submissions, check it out!

As it is Christmas Eve and that’s the day we celebrate Christmas by sharing a couple of great gifts; given to me this year.

From an anonymous (for you) donor I’ve gotten his cranium. It has belonged to a doctor (now retired) who bought it in the 50’s during his studies. He felt that it should continue to serve science and will do so through me.

A big thank you goes to fellow archaeologist Leif Häggström working at Kulturmiljö Halland (the author of the blog Arkeologi i Väst – in Swedish). He gave me some fine animal-bones. Among others this vixen (Vulpes vulpes), se pic below.

I also got some bones from a roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), some sheep and from fowls.




roe deer



Some of these will be delivered to archaeologist/osteologist Åsa M Larsson of the blog Ting och tankar (blog in Swedish).


sheep ca 6 months old


sheep ca 6 months old

I’ll take a short Christmas break in blogging but I’ll be back before the New Year.

Now I’ll go celebrate Christmas so Happy Christamas to all of you!

Magnus Reuterdahl

Day before Christmas

The Christmas vacation has been on for a few days and it’s been spent travelling, eating and shopping. I really don’t shop for Christmas gifts all that much, mostly a few small presents to my family and a little more for my nieces and nephews. But I do take time to buy some things for myself; mostly books and fine wines (see Aqua vitae blog in Swedish).

I usually use this time of the year to read some novels and this year I’d been recommended the Irish author Ken Bruen. I picked up the Killing of the tinkers; a hardboiled noir crime novel that begins with a Thin Lizzy reference (just lovin’ that).

I love the style this novel is written in, I love the authors languish and the dark moods that runs throughout the story; maybe not Christmassy but a damn good read.


A fellah I met on the Kilburn High Road had asked me if I was a social drinker. I’d said,

“No, what about yourself?”

“I’m a social security drinker.”

Now to books that has been incorporated in my library (me Christmas presents to self);

Beskrivning om swenska hemman och lägenheter (Accounts on Swedish homesteads and real estates) by Barthold Nystrom 1784. A book on the laws and regulations of homesteads and real estates in Sweden.


On the cover is proof of several of its owners..


and on the inside of the cover is the evidence of yet another previous owner; the ex libris of Gustaf Elgenstierna (1871-1948) (link in Swedish).

Next in line is Beskrifning av Örebro län (An account on Örebro County) by Wilhelm Tham 1849.


Then a nice little thing called Ett år i Sverige (A year in Sweden) – Taflor af Svenska Almogens klädedrägt och hemseder samt de för landet historia märkvärdigaste orter (Paintings/drawings of Swedish peasant costume and culture and important historic places), text by A Grafstom 1864 and drawings/paintings by J. G. Sandberg.


Illustration of Gripsholm castle from Ett år i Sverige.

I like ancient and historic maps and En krönika om kartor över Sverige (A chronicle of maps on Sweden) by Einar Bratt 1958 is a book about just that.


Finally I got this little almanac dating to the year 1780.


Magnus Reuterdahl

Doomsday came smashing down!

I’m sorry to say that this spot didn’t go to me, now I’ll linger on this for a while and I think that it’s time to change course, to find a new angle, to start over from zero. I’ll put it out of mind for now ‘cause tomorrow afternoon my holiday vacation starts and I think it’s best to let it rest for a few weeks. Then I’ll use January to start thinking on a new project plan, other questions and constructing a new application.

But as blows hits you on one cheek possibilities hits you on another – I’ve got my employment at the county administrative board in Norrbotten prolonged until March 31st.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Tomorrow comes doomsday (for my application)

Update at the end of the page!

A few months back I sent in an application to the archaeology post-graduate program at Stockholm University. If my information is correct the admission process starts tomorrow (15/12), a meeting will be held regarding the applicants, of whom I’m one. At this meeting they will select or at least discuss who the top candidates are and from there on interview a few of the applicants. This time there is one opening, and looking back on previous openings I would guess that there are probably 40-60 applications.

For me it seems applications always are due at the worst time. This time as well as the last time Stockholm University had a spot open I’m working way up here in Norrbotten; miles and miles from my personal library. This is no excuse, there’s been plenty of time between the two applications for rewrites and updates of the research plan etc, but other thing has been a priority. This time around I did some changes in my application, though I’m not sure if I did enough. I have some ideas of what’s been deemed unclear and/or a bit outmoded in my previous applications. Hopefully this time I’ve managed to get it a bit better balanced and focused – well, time will tell won’t it.

A PhD in Archaeology isn’t necessarily a way to get better salary or a steady job within our trade. Therefore it is important that if I get the chance to spend four years (or so) digging in to a subject, it is a subject of importance to me. That I feel that it is something that I personally can gain from, perhaps not economical but personal growth wise. Martin Rundqvist at Aarvarchaeology has pointed out, both on-line and IRL, that it isn’t necessarily the best of career moves to set time aside to get a PhD. I believe he has a point, but his ambitions or reasons for pursuing a PhD and mine aren’t necessarily the same. I wish to work as a civil servant working with questions regarding archaeology, cultural heritage etc or at a county museum. Now this is something that has been working out rather well for me the last few years and it might be questionable whether a break from the labour market is to my advantage. Therefore I believe it’s important to keep in close contact with the labour market during an eventual period of research.

Well to make it clear and easy – me wants a PhD, me wants it bad – I want the possibility and the time to dig deeper into archaeology as a subject and hopefully take another few step in my personal development.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Update 2008-12-15 – Got the answer on the application and it was no again. So it’s back to the drawing table and start over. I think it is time to find another angle and I’ll got at least a few months ´til the next application is due. Thanks for the quick and speedy process and the feedback!

New theme

I’ve changed the theme; as you can see the background is now black and the text is grey, though I’ve also noticed the text in some posts hasn’t turned grey. If you notice this phenomena please notice me so I can fix it.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Ps. The bones are metacarpals of Reindeer. Ds.

Urminne nr 7 2008

A new issue of Urminne (7/2008) is available, Urminne is a periodical concerning prehistoric and medieval issues in the Swedish provinces Småland, Öland and Östergötland. All articles are written in Swedish and it is possible to order it from Jonkoping County museum.


In this issue me and colleague; Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay, have an article; Tre oväntade fynd från Ottenby Kungsgård, Öland (Three unexpected finds at Ottenby Kungsgård).

Abstract: This paper presents three somewhat unexpected finds made in connection to the excavation in 2004 of a Pitted Ware site (Neolithic) at Ottenby Royal Manor on the southernmost part of Öland, Sweden. The first find to be treated here was identified during the excavation, and consists of an Early Medieval glass bead of Hungarian origin, of a type not previously documented from the Scandinavian area. The other two finds were identified during the osteological analysis; in the material from the 2004 excavation a Gannet (Morus bassanus, formerly known as Sula bassana) was identified, being the first of this species from a prehistoric context on Öland and the forth find from the large islands in the Baltic Sea altogether. Secondly whilst analysing bones from the 1991 excavation at the site a previously unidentified human bone was identified.

Magnus Reuterdahl

The other articles are (sorry I haven’t translated ´em);

– Jörgen Gustafsson: “Paradis i inland”
– Magnus Reuterdahl & Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay: “Tre oväntade fynd från Ottenby Kungsgård, Öland”
– Michael Dahlin: “Låt gravarna berätta! Några nygamla bronsåldersgravar i södra Tjust”
– Alexandra Nylén & Åsa Jönsson: “Gripeberg. En fornborg i Smålands inland”
– Christina Helander: “Att tända den livsgnista som släckts. En tolkning av två stensättningar i Bäckseda”
– Erika Räf: “Varifrån kom järnet? Om framställning av blästjärn i Östergötland under förhistorien”
– Mikael Nordström: “Död mans dörr och järnåldersdösens gåta”
– Anna Kloo Andersson: “Hälsa och ohälsa under medeltid och efterreformatorisk tid i södra Vätterbygden. Med utgångspunkt från skeletten i Barnarps kyrka”
– Rickard Wennerberg: “Skogens svarta guld. Undersökning av kolframställningsplatser i Nifsarp utanför Eksjö”
– Leif Häggström: Om viljan att kommunicera resultat. En analys av olika aktörers publiceringsfrekvens från en småländsk horisont”

Congratulation winners of SAU’s science award 2008

I would like to congratulate Sven Isaksson, archaeologist at the Archaeological research laboratory (AFL) Stockholm University, to SAU science award 2008 (In Swedish). Sven Isaksson is a bimolecular archaeologist who specialising in organic residues, for example lipid analysis on prehistoric ceramics. Sven is great teacher, scientist and fore most someone I call friend and it is always good see that good things comes to those who are good.

He wasn’t the only winner he shared the price with Uppsala scientist Anne Ingvarsson-Sundström, I don’t know her personally, though I believe I’ve met her on occasion, but I’ve read some articles and know of her as she do osteology (as well as archaeology). Congratulation it is good to see that bones are appreciated.

SAU or Societas Archaeologica Upsaliensis (in Swedish) is Uppsala based foundation that does contract as well as research based archaeology.

Read more about Sven and his work in this presentation/article (in English).


Magnus Reuterdahl


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