Death aesthetics

To decompose

Decompose, haste, o beloved bride,

make the bed in our lonely camp.

Deferred by the world, rejected by God,

you’re my only hope for salvation…

Erik Johan Stagnelius (1793-1823, Swedish poet and writer) (My translation)

A dead bird on a dirt road, ants eating away, caught my eye – most animals aren’t this still.

Alice Cooper Dead babies

On occasion you’ll find bones laying about, most often leftovers from hunters – and as I’m up here some bones of bear or lynx would be nice, but non such luck as yet, though bears are present. Bear feces and torn stumps indicating their presence – but they are shy animals and perhaps that’s just as well.

I’m not sure what animal left this track, though it got claws and a paw which is about 4-5 cm in diameter, and I’m pretty sure it’s not a dog.

Other animals that are common are different kinds of raptors such as hawks, falcons and a few eagles, they often revolves around forestry clearings and circles around you screaming and hissing – ones presence is not fully appreciated.

Though this is a poor a picture, this is one of them.

Even though you see and meet quite a lot of animals most are to quick away to be photographed, and as you move about you make your presence known. I’ve seen about 15-20 moose, several mice, voles, foxes, squirrels, frogs etc. but havn’t caught them with my camera.

Magnus Reuterdahl


About Magnus Reuterdahl

I am an archaeologist/Osteologist from Sweden. My main intrest lays in north Euorpean archaeology in, preferbly the prehistory of the late iron age and the neolithic periods. I've also got a strong intrest for Chinese archaeology, especially the neolithc Yangshao culture. I also write about cultural heritage and cultural history. Mitt namn är Magnus Reuterdahl, jag är arkeolog och osteolog och arbetar företrädesvis i Sverige även om jag gjort ett par vändor till Kina. På den här bloggen skriver jag om mitt yrke, om fornlämningar, kulturarv och kulturhistoria m m. View all posts by Magnus Reuterdahl

3 responses to “Death aesthetics

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  • ATinNM

    The track looks, to me, like a mustelid (weasel.) At 4-5 centimeters it’s too small for a wolverine. Given your description of the ecology I think it’s most likely to be the track of a European Pine Marten; second choice would be a small European Badger if the ground wasn’t rocky which makes it hard for them to dig their sett.

  • Magnus Reuterdahl

    Thanks, for the tip! I guess your right regarding a wolverine, it’s just to small. I do believe that pine martens and badgers are likely candidates – my first guess was fox, probably as I’ve saw many during that survey, though tracking animals aren’t exactly my forte.


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