Monthly Archives: July 2009

What’s next?

The weekend is coming up and I’m going home to Stockholm, I’ve got one more post on last week’s vacation to post, it’s coming on Saturday or Sunday at latest. Next week I’ll be working in Korsberga parish, Jonkoping County, Smaland with an archaeological investigation in an area where it is planned to build wind turbines.

Most likely we’re bound to find remnants of the cottages and back cabins of the 17th and 18th century cottage and back cabins, but also of forestry, tar production, coaling  production, iron production, water mills etc.

I’ll keep you posted

Best wishes

Magnus Reuterdahl

Advertisements

Join the birthday party at A Hot Cup Of Joe

Let’s celebrate A Hot Cup Of Joe by paying him a visit and take a bite of some of the cupcakes shaped as blogposts via the blog carnival Four Stone Hearth number 72.

Hurry, its bad manors to be late!

Magnus Reuterdahl


Summer vacation 2009 part 7; Lodose museum

Last Wendsday we went to Vastergotland and Lodose museum, the plan were to go to Lodose (Lödöse) museum and then slowly return via the northen parts of Vastergotland to Jonkoping stopping at ancient monuments etc, the weather got a bit bad though so all we did was visiting the museum, which in itself was well worth the trip.

Lödöse museum building

A model scale 1:1 displaying the thickness of the cultural layers

A model scale 1:1 displaying the thickness of the cultural layers

Lodose is small town ca 40 km north of Gothenburg.  Lodose is possible best known for the finds from the medieval town, ca 1/3 of the medieval town has been excavated, the cultural layers are up to 4 m in depth and more than 150000 finds has been registered.  Lodose oldest parts as a town is from the 10th century, this is not say that there isn’t older phases, it was one of Sweden’s main port and trading cities in the Middle Ages and for a long time the only facing west. Due to changing natural conditions the operations were relocated during the late 1400’s and 1500’s to what came to be Gothenburg and in 1646 and Lödöse lost its town privileges.

The museum is primarily an archaeological museum with a focus on the medieval town Lodose but they also have a nice exhibit on the prehistory in the Gota river valley.  The museum opened in 1965, and the new museum opened in 1994.

I must say I like this museum, is just big  and/or small enough, the premises are fresh and the exhibits interesting. The exhibits are what could be called a bit traditional (which I find positive) but at the same time it feels fresh and up to date, lets call it post pomo pro retro.

There are plenty of findings in the displays, they are partly broken down in traditional groupings such as trade, port activities, crafts, etc. but the  artifacts returns in several contexts which shows that they are multicontextual, eg. it dispalys that we must interpret them according to the context . The information is narrative but leaves room for interpretations and questions, though the visitor isn’t left on his or her own as I feel has been the case in some museums in latter years. This is an example of a museum that uses their collection in a good way, that trusts the value of the artifacts in themselves and in their contexts and dares to tell the story of them. This is the kind of museum that I like!

I took some pictures of the displays and on some finds

From the medieval exhibit;

A cannon

 Lödöse museum cannon

Swords

Lödöse museum swords

Knife sheath made of tree and lead

 Lödöse museum knife

Make a coin, I did

 Lödöse museum make a coin

Medieval shoes

 Lödöse museum shoes

Bone flutes

 Lödöse museum bone flutes

A funt of tree

 Lödöse museum funt

As you can see below runic inscriptions can be carved into almost any object. These medieval finds shows that runes were used by all groups in the cities, in other words rune literacy during the Middle Ages are high in the cities. Still we find very few finds of this sort in the country side though this might be due to preservation possibilities. In the deep cultural layers of the medieval towns there is a much better chance for objects of tree or leather to be preserved.

At the back; part of a Besman scale, in front; a measuring tool with a rune inscription.

 Lödöse museum runes

A thresh tool with a runic inscription

 Lödöse museum runes 2

Two calendar stick with a runic inscription

 Lödöse museum runes 3

Lödöse museum runes 4

From the prehistoric exhibit;

Antler from a reindeer and a jaw from a polar bear. The finds are dated to ca 13000-10500 BP, in other words from the end of the ice age.

 Lödöse museum reindeer

Stone Age axes

Lödöse museum stone age axes

Flint micro chips or microliths in displayed as the they were in the elder days

 Lödöse museum stone age flint microliths

These flint scrapers are either from the late Neolithics or the Bronze Age.

Lödöse museum Stone age scrapes daggers

Bronze Age swords

Lödöse museum Bronze Age swords

The next display is a 3-D model of the Gota river valley on which is projected how the country has raised itself and the valley has changed over the last 12 000 years, since the last ice age, and how man has taken possession of the landscape. A good presentation that is clear and makes it easy to see the changes, man made as well as natural. I miss one thing though and that is markers that show where today’s societies are. This is shown in the very beginning of the presentation but I feel that the presentation should gain on showing this all the way through.

Lödöse museum model Lödöse museum model2 Lödöse museum model3

If you’re in the neighborhood this is a museum you shouldn’t miss, it’s well worth a detour.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Back at the office

Lazy days are gone and it’s back to the grey everyday monotone work – ohh no that’s right I’m an archaeologist – so every day is fun day.  Seriously no, but it’s a nice feeling to feel good about going back to work, even though some days are harder than others; for example when it rains or snows and it’s excavation day.

This week (from now) I’ll be in Östersund, next week it’s fieldwork in Vetlanda, Småland, and then we’ll just have to see where I am off to after that.

I still has a few posts to write on this year’s summer vacation – so keep a look out.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Summer vacation 2009 part 6; Ostergotland

On our way south we passed a few rune stones in Ostergotland. First out was Ög 190 in Vikingstad parish. It is dated to the 11th century and the inscription is “…erected this stone after Agute a good…”.

 Ög 190 runsten

As you can see the rune stone has been mended but some fragments are missing.

Next stop was the three rune stones; Ög 207-209, along an abandoned road (hålväg) by an prehistoric grave field in Viby parish. The stones are dated to the 11th century. Ög 207 and 208 are in their original place while Ög 209 was found nearby in the 1860’s and later placed here. The grave field predates the rune stones. The grave filed is used during the Iron Age but might have used also during the Bronze Age.

ög 207-209 and the abandoned road

The abandoned road, it’s known as the old country road in sources from the 17th century but is very possible as old as or older than the rune stones.

Ög 207

 Ög 207

Redulv and Gere erected this stone after Ofeg, their uncle, a good farmer.

Ög 208

 Ög 208

Vige erected this stone after Ofeg, his father.

Ög 209

Ög 209

Toste erected stone after Toke and Oruste, his nephews.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Summar vacation 2009 part 5; the grateful dead ed.

Ro (Rö) church, the oldest parts are from the 13th century, within the church are murals on the walls and on the roof from the 15th century, the latest addition the church is the choir, added in 1747. The church was restored in 1950-51.

 Rö church

Rö church 2

Notice the large buttresses, built during the 16th or 17th century due to a fire, on both the north and south walls of the church.

Rö church strävpelare

Roof and wall murals

 Rö church intriör

Rö church intriör 2

Rö church intriör 3

This one caught my eye it is an interesting mural with an unusual motive called the grateful dead. The mural a church with a high ring wall, outside of the wall are five knights and within the wall is one knight surrounded by the dead armed with farm tools. According to the medieval ledged the pious knight stops at the grave yard to pray for the dead every time he stops at one, when he gets in trouble the dead comes to his aid, in this case against the five persecuting knights. The motive can also be found in Yttergran and Roslagsbro churches. So now I know where to go on my excursion north of Stockholm.

 Rö church intriör 9

Wood sculptures

 Rö church intriör 5

Rö church intriör 7

Christ from 15th century and the cross ca 1950.

Rö church intriör 6

St Maria, 13th century, placed on the the left side of the cross in the choir.

Rö church intriör 4

St Erik, 15th century, right side of the cross in the choir

Rö church funt

The funt, ca 13th century

This is the third church within a rather small area with an odd bell tower, built 1806-1807, at Skedrid church it’s integrated to the gate building.   

 Rö church bell tower

Btw. still haven’t finished the Stockholm part of the vacation so there’s still a lot of pictures from Ostergotland, Smaland and Vastergotland to publish.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Summer vacation part 4

Skedrid church 1

Next stop, and I still haven’t come past last Saturday so there’s a lot more to come, is Skederids church in Finsta, by some believed to been built by Saint Birgitta’s father Birger Persson and became a stop for pilgrims. The oldest part of the church is from the last part of the 13th century and as most churches it has been added to and changed during the centuries.

Skedrid church 2

Skedrid church 3

Skedrid church 4

Skedrid church detail

 There is a walled in rune stone, unfortunately the photo was out of focus.

The bell tower, open for display, is placed within the gate (stigport) building.

Skedrid bell tower 1

Skedrid bell tower 3

Skedrid bell tower 4

Skedrid bell tower church bells

There are other places nearby that are also connected to Birgitta such a small cave or rather a rock formation called Birgitta’s prayer cave where, according to local mythology, Birgitta’s had her first revelation (No picture, sorry).

Magnus Reuterdahl


Summer vacation 2009 part 3

Still keeping it in Stockholm County we visited Frotuna (Frötuna) church. It’s a beautiful church that reveals several rebuilding phases seated by the shoreline of Kyrksjön (The Church lake).

Frötuna kyrka 1

The oldest parts are assumed to be from the 12th century, the choir was prolonged during the 13th century and the roof vaults are from the 15th century. The waiting room is of special interest as a chapel in it might be connected to Sten Sure senior.

Frötuna kyrka 2

Frötuna kyrka 3

Frötuna kyrka 4

Frötuna kyrka 5

The bell tower is the latest addition and is placed on a small hill a few hundred m from the church.

Frötuna kyrkas klocktorn

When we visited work with taring the roof was ongoing.

Frötuna kyrka tjära

The place name Frötuna is interesting as it predates Christianty in Scandinavia. Fro (Frö) is another name for the god Frej one of the gods in Scandinavian mythology, -tuna means farmyard so it means the farm of Frej or Frej’s farm.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Summer vacation 2009 part 2

I’ll continue with one church and two rune stones;

Lohärads kyrka

At Loharads (Lohärads) church is U567. The oldest parts of the church are from the 13th century, it has been added to several times until it got its present looks during the 19th century. Within the church paintings from the late medieval times have been found and restored, sadly the church was looked so I have no pictures of these.

 U 567

The inscription on U 567 is, translated to English; Anund and Sven (?) and Ærnjjorn and Hægvid(?). Neither the runes nor the ornaments aren’t all that skilfully made, the inscription only holding names indicates that there might have been another stone.

 Lohärad kyrkas klockstapel

The bell tower is a bit odd and placed ca 150 m SW of the church next to a crossing of roads.

The next rune stone is U 573 at Kragsta.

U 573

Today it is very difficult to read as it is worn and it needs a new paint job. The inscription is interesting as it is a variant of a Germanic name giving principle where a part of the fathers name is a part of the sons name, it reads (translated to English); Alvgaut and Vigdjarf had this stone raised in memory of their father Vigi.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Summer vacation 2009 part 1

The last few days I’ve been on the road, as it’s me that means I’ve stopped at rune stones, churches and ancient remains. Yesterday we went NNW of Stockholm to Roslagen and Uppland and today we went through Sodermanland, Ostergotland to the northern parts of Smaland Counties. 

Karls kyrkoruin 1

Stop one, day one; the church ruin of Karl’s church ruin (Karls kyrkoruin) in Söderby-Karl parish (Raa 212:1).

Karls kyrkoruin 4

Karls kyrkoruin 3

Karls kyrkoruin 2

The church dates back to the 13th century. The oldest mention of the church is from 1287 ” Ecclesijs meis parrochialibus ….. Karlungskirkiu 1287”. It is a very nice ruin but there are no information signs at all except from the road sign.

Karls kyrkoruin skylt

An odd thing is the well in the NW part of the church. It’s ca 3-4 m deep and only protected by a tree lid (no warning signs). I’ve never seen a well inside of a church before. I guess this it’s not unique but it can’t be that usual as I’ve visited more than a few during the last decade and I can’t remember another one. In the well finds of medieval coins and a war hammer has been made and according to national registry of ancient monuments (FMIS) a cranium belonging to an adult woman has also been found in the well or just by it.

Karls kyrkoruin brunn 1

Karls kyrkoruin brunn 2

In the old entrance to the church are several fragments of one or more rune stones (U 583). In Samnordiskruntextdatabas only one fragment is mentioned. According to FMIS there should be two fragments. I saw at least three possibly four. Fragment 1-3 seems to belong to the same stone and the fourth, that I am not possibly sure has runes on it though I got that feel when on location –though on the photo I can’t identify any, are from another stone, if it is a rune stone.

U 583 Fragment 1

U 583 Fragment 1

 

U 583 Fragment 2
U 583 Fragment 2
U 583 (?) Fragment 3
U 583 (?) Fragment 3
Fragment 4 (runes or marks?)
Fragment 4 (runes or marks?)

In the entrance is also a rock with cup marks (not mentioned in FMIS)

Karls kyrkoruin skågropar

More information about the church is available at Stockholm County museum webpage (in Swedish) and FMIS (also in Swedish). 

Magnus Reuterdahl


%d bloggers like this: