Category Archives: Cultural heritage

Middle Ages seminar at Östergötland County Museum

Follow on Twitter #medsem12

Today I’ll attend a seminar on current research and projects concerning the Middle ages in Sweden åt Östergötland County museum, Linköping, Sweden. The seminars are being held by contract-archaeologist as well as resrearchers.

Among the seminars are:

Krokeks Cloister – the franciscan forest convent by Marie Ohlsen, Östergötland museum.

Devestation or restructring – the Linköping are during the Iron Age and Middle Ages by Karin Lindeblad & Maria Petersson, the National heritage board UV öst (east)

Ecological & social connections associated with the black death by Per Lagerås, the National heritage board UV syd (south)

Slaves, tradesfolk and common people – strangers during the middle ages and how we find them by Mats Roslund, archaeologist, Lund University.

To work with a gender perspective on historic landscapes by Elisabeth Gräslund berg, geographer, Stockholm University.

Hemvidakulla – a deserted farmstead in Ydre by Hans Andersson, professor emeritus historical archaeology, Lund University

Musical meetings – music during the Middle Ages by Lars Jonsson, music producer and artistic director, NoMeMus.

Etc etc.

This post will be updated during the day.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Etruskerna 3D – Etruria 3D

Detta inlägg följer på Svenska

Today I visited the exhibit Etruria 3D at the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm. I’m sorry to say this exhibit wasn’t all that good. The 3D part worked on the stills but was a total waste on TV-screens. The other big, BIG, negative is that you need to get some kind of hearing aids/audio guide to understand the films, probably at an extra cost, this wasn’t mentioned when we bought the tickets, we neither go any info where to get them – as the exhibit is based on the audio guide and I didn’t have it, I didn’t get the exhibit at all – and I’m sorry to say for me it was a waste of money!

The new standard exhibit is nice though.

Etrurskerna 3D på medelhavsmuseet i Stockholm var tyvärr inte bra. Uppenbarligen måste man ha hörlurar för att få ut något av denna utställning, även som intresserad arkeolog, vilket det inte informerades om när man köpte biljetten. Detta inser man dock ganska fort då informationsskyltarna är få och filmerna tappar sin mening utan kommentarer. Jag antar att man kan hyra hörlurar och audioguide – men så som utställningen är utformad borde detta ingå i priset, dessutom hittade jag ingen information om var man fick tag i den (även om jag antar att de finns i kassan). 3D filmerna och 3-bilderna på digitala skärmar var mycket svåra att se mednågon skärpa i 3D glasögonen, de fungerade dock bra på de tryckta stillbilderna (dessutom fungerar inte 3D-glasögonen i kombination med glasögon). Personligen ser jag dock hellre fynden verkligheten, och framför allt ge mig vettiga informationsskyltar.

Tyvärr är känslan att man lagt ut 80 kronor i onödan och gör att jag tyvärr är riktigt besviken då jag lämnar utställningen – men jag vill dock framhålla att den nya grundutställningen är trevlig.

Vad gäller Etruskerna – gör om gör rätt – vilket i detta fall tyvärr betyder gör om i princip allt!

Magnus Reuterdahl



Nytt uppdrag: Etik & arkeologi – A new mission: Ethics & Archaeology

This post is available in English further down.

Som jag nämnt i tidigare inlägg byter jag arbetsgivare från och med den 1 februari, från Länsstyrelsen i Västernorrland till Länsstyrelsen i Östergötland.

Det är dock mer på gång för mig inom det arkeologiska – jag kommer ingå in en arbetsgrupp inom DIK med uppgift att ta fram etiska riktlinjer för arkeologer. Tanken är att dessa ska fungera som vägledning för alla arkeologer; forskare såväl som för arkeologer på olika myndigheter, museer, stiftelser, företag m fl. Tanken är att riktlinjerna ska vara överskådliga och lätta att kommunicera. I uppdraget ingår också att lämna förslag om hur de etiska riktlinjerna kan lanseras och förankras bland Sveriges arkeologer och diskussioner kring certifiering.

Efterhand hand hoppas jag kunna skriva ytterligare några inlägg om detta. just nu ligger spänningen i vilka är de övriga i arbetsgruppen? – Vet du skriv en kommentar!

DIK är ett fackförbund och en del av centralorganisationen SACO, Sveriges akademikers centralorganisation. DIK företräder akademiker inom kultur- och kommunikationsektorn och då bland annat arkeologer.

Läs mer här

http://www.dik.se/artikel/10797/dik-startar-arbetsgrupp-om-etik-arkeologer

More new challenges as I will have to begin thinking on Archaeology and ethics in a more concentrated form. In previous posts I’ve mentioned that I start a new job February 1st in Linkoping at the Administrative County board of Östergötland.

As I mentioned in previous posts I’m changing employers as of February 1st, from the County Administrative Board of Västernorrland to the County Administrative Board in Östergötland.

But there is more news regarding the archaeological – I will be part of a working group within DIK with the task of developing ethical guidelines for archaeologists. DIK is a trade union and part of SACO, a trade union confederation for university graduates or professionals with a college degree. DIK represents the culture and communications sectors, and among them the archaeologists.

The idea behind the guidelines is that they are to serve as guidance for all archaeologists, researchers as well as to archaeologists at various government agencies, museums, foundations, corporations and others. The idea is that the guidelines should be transparent and easy to communicate, and the assignment also includes proposals on how the ethical guidelines can be launched and anchored among Swedish archaeologists and discussions around certification.

I will get back to you on a later date with more info on this.


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


Seminar on crime against cultural heritage sites

Jag kommer twittra under seminariet – följ mig på #fornbrott (I’ll tweet the seminar though in Swedish #fornbrott)

On Wednesday I’ll be at the Swedish National Herritage boards (RAÄ) seminar on crime against cultural heritage sites. The seminar includes a brief on reported crime against cultural heritage sites 2000-2010, some examples on this and perhaps most interesting former Chief Prosecutor Sven Erik Alhem on how to to formulate police reports of suspected archaeological heritage crime, how they should be dealt with before, during and after the legal process and a discussion on this.

I hope for an interesting an informative seminar. From my point of view the most interesting part is the how to bridge the gap between the lawmen and us who work with cultural history – how to find a way where we understand each other, most often when I dealt with this there a big problem has been that neither the police or the prosecutor has knowledge of the cultural Heritage Act or what a ancient or historic monument are – or the process regarding understanding damages. In one part that is our fault – we fail to give them the right information; on the other hand they fail to make us understand what they need. I know that this differs in the country but a big part of it is that relatively few cases have been in our courts – and praxis is built via the courts. Perhaps this can be a good start.

The most important question according to me is how do we get the police and prosecutors to begin processing our police reports – they often lay there collecting dust until it’s barred.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Going places

A constant in life is that time is passing – at present the days seems to go with the speed of light. Since a week back I’m part of the excavating crew at the E22 in Blekinge, in the south part of Sweden, still employed by Kalmar County museum. The excavation concerns several areas, among them several Mesolithic settlements and activity sites, and some later Stone Age burials, Iron Age burial sites etc., etc. Lots of exciting stuff – though this post is not about that.

This has though meant that I transferred my living quarters to Sölvesborg – a new town means new things to see – among them are two rune stones. One is placed inside S:t Nicholai church in Sölvesborg. the oldest parts are from the 13th century. Inside the church are several interesting paintings from the 15th cen

  

Back to the rune stones. Its not everyday you see rune stones from the 6th – 8th century, e.g. rune stones with runes from the older futhark, and fewer still that you see two.

Just outside the church is the rune stone DR 356 (Sölvesborg 18:1).

The inscription on the stone in the church is:

Orti Vað[i] [ept] Ásmund, son sinn.

English translation should read some like; Vaði wrought (in memory of ) Ásmundr, his son.

The other rune stone, DR 357 (Sölvesborg 18:2) is placed inside the church and has been moved to Sölvedborg from Gammeltofta parish and is called the Stentofta rune stone.

<niuha>borumz <niuha>gestumz Haþuwulfz gaf j[ar], Hariwulfz … … haidiz runono, felh eka hedra, niu habrumz, niu hangistumz Haþuwulfz gaf j[ar], Hariwulfz … … haidiz runono, felh eka hedra, ginnurunoz. Hermalausaz argiu, Weladauþs, sa þat, briutiþ.

English translation: (To the) <niuha>dwellers (and) <niuha>guests Haþuwulfar gave ful year, Hariwulfar … … I, master of the runes(?) conceal here nine bucks, nine stallions, Haþuwulfar gave fruitful year, Hariwulfar …

I’ll try to take a few hikes and see some more ancient monuments in Bleking the coming weeks, my current employment last till the end of September so its also time to look for new employments – I’ve been on a couple of interviews the last weeks so its possible that its soon time for a new move.

Magnus Reuterdahl


In search for runes

Been writing a few reports lately, nothing fancy as the results were more or less =0, e.g. no finds worth mentioning. While doing so I’ve needed to stop by the archives a few times and as soon you’ll open one of those dusty bins you’ll find something fun –that has nothing to do with your current affairs. This time I stumbled on a reference of a runic carving in wood.

According to the note it should be found at Eriksörestugan aka Kalgrenstugan – a wooden house in Eriksöra at Öland. Four runes are mentioned: i t a f, where the last one is facing the wrong direction. The house is a Ryggåsstuga, a one storey wooden house without inner ceilings. This type of house was common amongst the peasants up until at least the end of the 18th century.

Didn’t find much or rather nothing regarding this on the web or in my books. What I did find out is that house was restored in the 1930’s, the note regarding the inscription wasn’t dated but might have been older than that, so it’s possible the inscription is no more. Except from this I’ve found two other inscriptions on Ryggåsstugor, both in Älvdalen, Dalarna County, D Rv314 and D Rv305 dated to 1828 and 1830-1855. Though I don’t know what those inscriptions says.

Well if you can’t find it on-line you’ll have to go on tour – Eriksöre here I come 🙂  – I’ll update when I get home!

I found the house and according to the note the inscription should be  on the short side wall next to the window.

…but I’m sorry to say I couldn’t find any runes 😦 Then again I couldn’t come home runeless so I took a little drive to Karlevi stenen – a nearby runestone. A quite aspecial one at that, the inscription is written in a verse called Drottkvätt and there are also a few latin letters on the side. I’ll get back to you regarding the text in a few days.

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


I’m turning 4 :)

I started this blog four years ago. At the time I wouldn’t have dreamt that it still would be on-line 505 posts and four years later. Well this is not the end I’ll carry on for a while yet – so you’re welcome to tag along!

A big thank you to all who reads the blog and to all who leave comments – let’s hope the spade finds something really great this summer to give testimony about:)

Lets’s head on into the future with a song of a digging a hole in the ground

Magnus Reuterdahl

 


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