Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy new year!

2011 is closing in and 2012 is waiting to shine. Though the new year hasn’t started yet it has kind of pre-started for me – In February I start a new employment. This time I turn south again, a bit like a jo-jo, to Linköping where I will work at the county administrative board in Östergötland county. Later in the year I will also attend the European wine bloggers conference in Izmir, Turkey. What has this to do with archaeology you might ask? Well I intend to dive into the archaeology of wine in a few post this coming year.

Have a great New Years eve and a great 2012 🙂

Magnus Reuterdahl


Got an early christmas gift today

Got an offer on a new job today. It’ll start next year and means that I’ll be working in Östergötland the better part of next year 🙂

I’ll post more on this at a later date.

Merry Christmas

Magnus Reuterdahl

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year

Time seems to fly when you enjoy your self or is busy, this year has come and gone and during the last part I really haven’t paid Testimony of the spade as much attention as I should – I intend to do better next year. But as go through statistics I’ve managed to posts some 80+ posts and it might be one or two more before the year ends.

I’ve also started at two new jobs during the year; as an archaeologist at Kalmar County Museum from April-September and currently as an archaeologist at the Västernorrland County Board.

A few words on how a Swedish Christmas celebration might be celebrated. As in many other places Christmas of today is quite a secular thing, far from celebrating the birth of Christ or the old Norse way of Julblot/Midvinterblot (the christmas or midwinter sacrifice rites). In spite of this a lot of the symbols are still here; angels, the nativity scene, Christmas stars, songs etc. There are also things that might go as far back as Julblotet. In a ode to the “Norwegian” king Harald Hårfager (Ca 850 -933 AD) dated to ca 900 AD the rite of drinking Christmas (dricka jul) is mentioned, this has been interpreted as drinking Christmas ale/beer/mead – a tradition very much still living.

Back to the present and recently past, Christmas starts with advent, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the Christmas celebration. For most from my generation this is connected with TVs Adventskalendern, a 24 piece TV-series for children. For the TV series is an advent calendar with 24 casements that are related to the program. I mid advent on December 13th we celebrate Lucia (Saint Lucy). In “traditional” celebrations, Saint Lucy comes as a young woman wearing a crown with candles and a white robe, heading a procession by other girls and boys. Normally the girls following Lucia are called tärnor, they are dressed in a white robes holding a single candle each and the boys are dressed in the same kind of white robes, but with a cone-shaped hat decorated with golden stars, called stjärngossar (star boys); some may be also be dressed up as a young Santa Claus, carrying lanterns; and some may be dressed up as gingerbread men. They sing traditional songs such as the Neapolitan song Santa Lucia etc. This also is a party weekend for many.

In Sweden we celebrate at Christmas Eve, on the 24th, most often by feasting on traditional food, such as ham, herring, salmon, cold cuts and rice porridge etc. etc. We also drink Christmas beer, Christmas snaps (not to be confused with schnapps – this is liquor spiced with different herbs) and lets not forget mulled wine. When I was young, Swedish TV were two channels, at the time we didn’t get to enjoy much cartoons but on Christmas Eve Donald Duck and his friends were a tradition – for the young today it might not seem like much but we are still many who connect Christmas with an hour of Disney shorts. Another cartoon that has have a long run on Swedish TV on Christmas Eve is called Karl-Bertil Jonssons Jul (it was translated into English in 1987 with the titel Christophers Christmas mission) – a story by Tage Danielsson from 1964 made for TV in 1975 about a teenage boy, growing up just before WW2, in a rich family, dreaming of a better world and living by Robin Hood’s motto; to take from the rich and give to the poor. With these words in mind he brings the tax calendar with him to his holiday job, sorting Christmas mail, at the post office and pick out presents addressed to rich people and then dressed out as Santa he instead gives them to the poor – in the true Christmas spirit.

On Christmas day we don’t do much, we digest yesterday’s food and relax. That is to say until it becomes evening – a tradition of late in many cities is to go out and party on Christmas night. Thereafter it’s the big Christmas sales – shop, shop, shop – and then it’s time for New Years Eve.

In short this is Christmas in Sweden, at least for me, though along the way it seems that I’ve picked up a few habits

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and or Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year

Magnus Reuterdahl

Pictures from da hood i.e. the nearby wood

If you ever wondered were I live this is it; the suburb Bergshamra.

Just a few minutes walk from my apartment in Stockholm I’m more or less in the wood and by the waterfront – yet I’m only a 10 – minute ride by the subway to down town Stockholm. Today we took a Sunday walk around the northern parts of Bergshamra down to the royal castle of Ulriksdal and home again.

Back in civilization again – only 13 days til Christmas and no snow in Stockholm!

Magnus Reuterdahl

Prehistoric wine & Ancient wine

I’ve started yet another blog, Testimony of a wine junkie – I guess you can figure out what it’s about; my other big interest in life: Wine! I’ve also got a wine blog in Swedish Aqua Vitae if you prefer my native tongue. Next year I’ll participate in EWBC – the European Wine Bloggers Conference or as it also called Digital Wine Communication Conference in Izmir, Turkey with the theme Source as in what ‘s the source of wine, at least that’s how I’ve interpreted it. So my plan is to dig into the story of wine, from different angles, I’ll publish them on my wine blogs in Swedish and in English but as archaeology, cultural history and history is vital parts in these posts I’ll link to them from here as well. If you’ve got input or tips on litterature or links please don’t hesitate – leave a comment here or on the linked blogs 🙂

In English: Pro uso non pro ubuso (to use not to misuse)

In Swedish: Pro uso non pro ubuso (För bruk inte för missbruk)

Magnus Reuterdahl



%d bloggers like this: