Monthly Archives: May 2011

Two ancient forts of Öland

Yesterday we took a tour on the island Öland just east of Kalmar. There are several ancient forts, many of the dates to ca 400-550 BC though some of the has been used later on as well. We visited the fort Ismantorps borg that is speciall in the way that a lot house grounds are visable.

We also visited Sandby borg. There are diffrences, Sanbyborg ius situated by the ocean and there are no visable remains of houses. But the form is more or less the same – it’s a round structure on flat land.


Magnus Reuterdahl






On route to Öland

Today I’ll head for the island Öland on Sweden’s southeast coast, there’s some really cool ancient monuments to see if you’re ever nearby. I’ll upload a few pictures later today – or you can catch them on twitter; @reuterdahl, live.

By the way now I got my tickets to Sweden rock – a hard rock festival in Sweden – and you could say it’s a bit like music archaeology; all the old dinosaurs like Ozzy, Judas Priest, Hawkwind, Whitesnake, Fläsket brinner etc etc… well I better bite my tongue or hold your horses there are some new bands as well.

Perhaps not the best of songs, and I don’t think they’ll play Sweden rock, but it’s a fun anthem that suits this post 🙂

Magnus Reuterdahl

Kalmar County Museum blog – a new home away from home

Kalmar County Museum blog Arkeologi i Kalmar län (Archaeology in Kalmar County) is a blog regarding the work that is beeing carried out by the archaeology division at the museum. Which I’m now a part of. I’ve just posted my first blog post for Kalmar County Museum (In Swedish) – go check it out 🙂

This does in no way mean I’ll quite this one – but I will post, on and off – in Swedish, posts regarding my current work at Arkeologi i Kalmar län. On this blog it’s as always my thoughts and words which not necessarily are the same as my employers.

Magnus Reuterdahl

A week in Västervik

I’m in Vastervik ca 150 km N of Kalmar. We’re doing an archaeological survey combined with search trenches. A beautiful hillside facing the waterfront – the the hillside is just cramped with stones. I had somewhat forgotten the amount of stone that can be found in Smalandic hills. Hopefully we’ll find something other than untouched moraine 🙂


War time archaeology in Jönköping

Jönköping County museum has started a blog (in Swedish), that seems promising. There are several interesting projects that are on the go in Jönköping at the moment. One is the search for a battle field site at Dumme mosse. A battle held in 1567 where as many as 2000 man battled it out, for the Swedes it was a futile battle, an army of farmers against the Danish professionals. The mission for the swedes were to delay the Danes enough to evacuate and burn Jönköping city and Jönköping castle. Archaeologists in Jonkoping now believes they identified the site – and this year they are going out to further establish this… read more about on the blog (Google translate or should do the the trick).

Another exiting project concerns Jonkoping castle. It was situated just south of lake Vettern, on the north west shore of lake Munksjön. At the site was originally a Franciscan monastery built in the late 13th century. In 1544 king Gustav Vasa decided that a castle should be build on the site, an used the monastery as a base. Jonkoping was burned down in 1567 and in 1612 both times during warfare with the Danes. During the early 17th century the castle was rebuilt and modernized but when Jonkoping no longer was a border city toward Denmark the functionality of the castle vanished. When it once again burnt down in 1737 it never was restored. During the 19th century the city needed to expand and so part for part the castle was demolished and in 1871 the last parts were gone… or so we all thought.

In 2010 archaeologists at the museum did a georadar survey of the area and found that lots of remains still were “standing” under ground. Later this year parts of the castle will be excavated and opened for the public eye.

The Danes did not always win as this picture is proof of – the battle at Friderichsödde painted by Erik Dahlberg (1625-1702) 1657. The battle at Friedrichsödde (aka Fredriks udde and today Fridericĭa) took place in the autumn of 1657. General Wrangel led the Swedish attack and won the battle. I can’t say I know much about it – the picture though shows a castle that is not unlike what Jonkoping castle might have looked like in the mid 17th century. Though the city itself was not that well protected.

I look forward to the excavtions and will follow the results!

Magnus Reuterdahl

A week at the museum

What do an archaeologist do when he isn’t excavating? We do quite a lot of things – some obvious some less so. We write reports on the field works, we analyze the finds we’ve made, we attend meetings, we write survey and excavation plans, we attend meetings etc.

This week I’ve mainly been indoors preparing for a work next week’s work just outside Västervik. There’s a lot that needs to be seen to before you begin digging into the cultural layers. In this case I hadn’t done the excavation plan myself – so first there was some reading up, to get to know the area, what’s, what preps had been done etc. e.g. what I need to do. The work is the first step in the Swedish archaeological process an archaeological investigation; this means a survey of the area and on occasion we also dig search shafts in order to find remnants hidden underground – as will do in this particular job.

First things first – living arrangements; I got a hold of livening quarters just by the site – two minutes to my work area, lunch at home etc… luxury 🙂

Next order of business getting hold of a rover (a RTK Instrument) – a kind of multi-GPS, a backhoe and make sure that all tools are in place such as shovels, hoes, helmets, pads, tracing paper, etc.

Finally there are the question of other things that might be hidden underground – cables, wires, tubes etc. All to make sure all you guys still have an internet connection, electricity and water.

Well now all is done, I hope, so next week is field week 🙂

Magnus Reuterdahl

From Kalmar with love

Then this year filed season has started. A few days in Västervik – a few search trenches and a couple of excavated cultivation cairns – not much but a nice start in the sunshine. Now a short period indoors; writing a report on the mentioned field work, making preps for the next fieldwork, writing a few offers on couple of other jobs and so fourth. Lot’s of things to do, and lots of new stuff to learn as I’m new at Kalmar County Museum; all institutions have their way and praxis’s – but the best way to learn is to bite the bullet and on head right on.

A foal playing around his or her mother just south of our work site.

As new things starts up old things catches up – one of the things I worked on last year was a report for Arkeologicentrum on the excavation of a pitted ware site (en gropkeramisk boplats ca 3200-2300 BC) some miles north of Gothenburg in Göta Älvdal called Skepplanda 32:1. The titel is Forntiden på Kattleberg belyst genom arkeologisk undersökning av två förhistoriska boplatser, Skepplanda 32 och 230, Västergötland, Ale kommun, Västra Götalands län and it is written by Lisbeth Bengtsson, Britta Wennstedt Edvinger and myself. Now it’s available in Swedish as a pdf.

That’s all for now

Magnus Reuterdahl

En svensk uppdragsarkeologisk klassiker/A Swedish contract archaeological classic

This post will follow in English.

Som arkeolog är man tvungen att flytta runt, att jobba som projektanställda och att hela tiden planera framåt. Vad händer efter nästa jobb, projekt eller kurs?

Nu är inte allt negativt med detta, man får möjlighet att se mycket av vårt vackra land, uppleva olika kulturmiljöer och träffa mängder med fantastiska människor.

En sak som ofta kommer upp var och eller för vem man jobbat och i samband med detta började vi diskutera vem som gjort en svensk uppdragsarkeologisk klassiker. Dvs jobbat på Riksantikvarieämbetets arkeologiska uppdrags verksamhet (UV), ett länsmuseum , ett privat företag och för en stiftelse. För att göra det ytterligare mer exklusivt jobbat i minst ett län i södra, mellersta respektive norra Sverige samt arbetat antingen som inventetare eller annan special funktion, på en länsstyrelse eller som handläggare på riksantikvarieämbetet. Jag har inte nått upp till detta… än. Jag saknar en stiftelse och UV i min portfölj – hur är det med dig?

Har du genomfört en svensk uppdragsarkeologisk klassiker eller känner någon som gjort det, eller tycker du att något saknas som bör ingå i en klassiker? Lämna en kommentar!

Obs detta är skrivet på min HTC så jag ber om ursäkt för eventuella stavfel!

Magnus Reuterdahl

As an archaeologist you have to move around a lot, to work in projekt and konstanta plan ahead. What will happen next after this job, projekt or course.

Now there are positive sides to this drifter kind of life such as the possibily to see and experience our respective countries and perhaps more, to see and study different cultural historic areas and to meet loads of interesting people.

One thing that is often discussed are where, with and for whom we worked. At one time some of us came up with the notion of a Swedish contract archaeological classic, I guess this might be translateble to most countries. In Sweden this might be someone who had worked for the National Heritage Board’s contract department (UV), a county museum, a private company and a foundation. To make it more exclusive you should also have worked in at least one county in the south, middle and north of Sweden and have worked on a survey or other special function, at a county board or as an officer at the national Heritage Board.

I haven’t made a classic… yet! For me an employment at UV and a foundation is still missing.

If you have done this, or a similar classic in your country, or have thoughts on if something is missing – please leave a comment.

This is written on my HTC phone, so please excuse any misspellings.

Magnus Reuterdahl

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