Category Archives: Museums

Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia

I recently was in Georgia on a wine-tour in combination with EWBC. Now Georgia also poses lots of interesting archaeological finds and some of the oldest that can be connected to wine and wine producing.

Vine branches with silver framing, dated to ca 2-1st millennium B.C. found in Georgia

We visited the Georgian National Museums archaeological exhibit and also got to see some finds that as yet has not reached the exhibit. If you go to Georgia this is a museum not to miss, lots of nice and interesting finds that shows both relations to West Europe, the Middle East and Asia – there’s really no question that you are on the Silk road.

Most of these finds are found in graves and there are several fantastic gold and silver artifacts. The exhibition represent the history of Georgian gold smithery from the 3rd millennium B.C. To the 4th century A.D. So lets get ready for some archeo- artifact – pornography! The pictures are just a few the objects on display and a few in the end that are not on display as yet.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Black hawk up & The Swedish Air Force Museum in Linköping

As we said good bye to a colleague that goes into retirement we visited the The Swedish Air Force Museum, but before that my colleague got to get a flight in the SK60 (a jet plane) we got a trip in Helcopter 16 or better known as Black hawk. Really really cool 🙂

I can also strongly recommend Flygvapenmuseum The Swedish Air Force Museum in Linkoping. Here are almost all planes that can be connected to Swedish air force as well as an exhibit on the cold war, where Swedens military, Swedish politics and domestic issues are connected – really good and then an exhibt or a crypt of a a Swedish DC3 that was shot down in the Baltic Sea in the 50’s and the story of the political game behind the story – this is stuff for a Hollywood picture – the plane was found a few years ago and lifted from the bottom of Sea. This museum is not only for air force or air plane buffs but everyone that wants to know more about the history of the cold war.

The pictures are divided into three groups: air force exhibit, cold war exhibit, DC3 exhibit.

Air force exhibit

Cold war exhibit

DC3 exhibit

Magnus Reuterdahl

Rock-art-lollapalooza part 1

 My fiancée, who also is an archaeologist, is currently participating in an archaeological dig at the Swedish west coast, at Tanum. Tanum is internationally known for its rock art sites, the Tanum UNESCO World Heritage site includes a multitude of rock carvings dated to the Bronze Age ca 1700-500 BC. In the area there are more than 1500 known sites with rock art. Last weekend I visited and we went on a rock art Safari visiting a few of the sites, the first Vitlycke, which is one of the biggest sites including the famous carving that is called the the wedding couple .

The most common motives are cup marks, ships, people, animals, footprints, wheels etc. Not being an expert on these they still captures my imagination, this is as close as we come to a written testimony of the Bronze Age world giving us glimpses into the world then. The rock carving as seen today is made on outcrops and rocks that are visible in the modern farming landscape, but during the Bronze Age they were situated near the waterline. What is ongoing in Scandinavia, since the last Ice Age, is the land uplift in progress, due to this the coastline has moved quite a bit since the Bronze Age and so landscape surrounding the rock carvings has changed as well.

Big outcrop with rock art at Vitlycke

On top of this hill, ca 100 meter higher in the terrain are two great burial cairns from the Bronze Age.

This is the first of several posts consisting mainly of photos from these sites.

The wedding couple

As you see the carvings have been filled with paint, when they’re found they’re not – can you see the carvings on the next picture?

In the middle is a foot sole and down to the left is part of a ship.

At Vitlycke is also a rock art museum, which includes a replica of a Bronze Age farm.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Platsr – web toy or web tool?

Heard om platsr (in Swedish playing with the word plats=place and r, or rather the rune R =used to mark ancient monuments on Sweish maps), its a webpage or rather a web toy or web tool that I think this a pretty cool. The idea is that institutions, such as museums or archives, companies or the general public can upload a picture or a story and link that to a place and share that with others.

Now is it a toy or a tool – well I think it’s a bit both – one example of this is Blekinge County museum – they have uploaded this picture from their archive

The picture is licenced under Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA 2.5 belonging to Blekinge County museum

 On the picture is an unknown family visiting a church, Amiralitetskyrkan in Karlskrona. The photo is dated to the turn on the century, ca 1900 and is but one out of 100s of pictures of this particular family – Now Bleking County museum is asking for help with identifying them via Plastr. See the Platsr page here.

So if you happen to know who they are – send Bleking County museum a mail 🙂

Magnus Reuterdahl

Långban smelting and mining areas

I’m spending Easter in Långban, Värmland where my fiancées sister with family owns a croft that they use as a summer residence etc.

Långban is perhaps most famous for its smelting and mining areas where Iron has been mined since the 16th century. Around the mines the yeomenminers formed a small community, Långban.

During the 17th century the mines were closed but they reopened in 1711 and mining for Iron continued until 1956 and for dolomite until 1972. Långban has a geological claim to fame as more than 300 minerals has been found here, equal to ca 1/10 of all known minerals in the world, according to information signs this is the greatest number of minerals found in one place.

As mining has continued for such a long time the area is also interesting from a cultural historical point of view and the museum and area is well worth a visit. As I was going trough some old pictures I found these from a few years back of the mining area. So tag along we’re going to the mine 🙂

Happy Easter/Holidays etc

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

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

A bottle from the past

Detta inlägg finns på svenska på min blogg Aqua Vitae – välkommen!

Anna Oswaldson Vin & Sprithistoriska Museet showing the bottle

The other day I posted a story on my wine blog Aqua Vitae, this an English version of that post, though a bit shortened,  about an odd find. It’s not every day I find common denominators between my interest in wine and in archaeology – this was such an occasion!

At the Historical Museum of Wines and Spirits (Vin & Sprithistoriska museet) in Stockholm an interesting bottle surfaced. It was originally found in the 1940s by a diver and later donated to the museum. The bottle is complete and from the 1790s – interestingly enough with a seal which reads: CON STANTIA WYN which makes an identification possible. The bottle comes from the South African wineries Groot Constantia. Groot Constantia is the oldest winery in South Africa founded in 1685. When I did some research on the winery I found a link to Sweden – in 1712 it was bought by a Swedish adventurer, a captain Oloff Bergh and his wife Anna de Koningh. Oloff Bergh was born in Gothenburg in 1643 and got eleven children with his Anna who took over the winery in 1716 when Oloff died. She managed it until her death in 1734. Here ends the Swedish connection until the bottle was refound at the museum. The most plausible explanation is that it came to Sweden via the East India Company and ended up on the bottom of the sea in the Stockholm archipelago.

A nice little story – it could very well end there, but now I want to taste the wine – of course today’s wines haven’t all that much in common with the wines of the 1790s but still its produced in the same place. The wine is normally available in Sweden but the importer seems to be out of stock at the moment.

I’ll come back to this issue as it opened up for several interesting questions and it became obvious to me that my knowledge of the history of wine have some big gaps. I was oblivious to the fact that wine was produced in South Africa at that time, that there were an export market from the new world at this point and that they were shipped in bottles – I believed they be shipped in oak barrels and tapped on bottle on site. There are finds of similar bottles, or rather pieces of bottles in the USA and in Germany so its not a single bottle. Well I’ll get back to you on this as I find more background material.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Attack of the silverfishes

Jönköping County museum closes its exhibitions until May 2012 because of a need to sanitize the facilities due to silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) aka fishmoths, carpet sharks or paramites. Silver fish are small, wingless insects who live on a diet of carbohydrates such as starches – not all that great in a museum. Especially not one with plenty of art in their collection – among them a nice collection of local artist John Bauer (1882-1918) – known among other things for his great images of trolls, goblins, princesses and fairies etc.

To prevent future problems better ventilations will be installed to ensure the collections. In the meantime the museum will exhibit elsewhere in the County and so perhaps reach new audiences. As the asying goes; There’s nothing bad that does not bring any good.

Illustration from Walter Stenström’s The boy and the trolls or The Adventure in childrens’ anthology Among pixies and trolls, a collection of childrens’ stories, 1915 ( picture from Wikipedia). In this picture the Trolls watches princess Tuvstarr by Johan Bauer.

Source: Jönköpings läns museum and Local web paper

Tonight fun & drinks – tomorrow a seminar

Tonight it is Christmas party at Arkeologikonsult in Upplands Väsby. Jolly cheers, beers and some wine mixed with Italian wine are promised. There is still one week left at the excavation  at Rissne so a there are a few more snowy archaeology days left to look forward to.

This weekend I’ll attend an Archaeological seminar on recent Qin and Han Archaeological findings in Shaanxi province at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm.

In connection with the exhibition China’s Terracotta Army at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, a seminar will be held in order to provide an in depth picture of the exhibited archaeological findings. Three Chinese archaeologists from Shaanxi province discuss several archaeological sites excavated in recent years, including the tomb complex of the First Emperor of Qin, as well as Han Yangling, the tomb complex of Forth Emperor of Han.

The seminar will be held in Chinese, with English interpreter.

Organizer: Östasiatiska Museet (the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities).
Co-organizers: Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center, Oriental Ceramic Society of Sweden


  • 9:30 Gathering, Coffee & Tea
  • 10:00-10.30 Opening: Sanne Houby-Nielsen Ph.D. Director General, National museums of world culture. Eva Myrdal Ph.D. Deputy director, Museum of far Eastern Antiquities. Si Han Ph.D. Curator Museum of far Eastern Antiquities presents all speakers and the program
  • 10:30-11.45 Research and Archaeological Findings of Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Complex and Terracotta Army, By Dang Shixue, Associate Researcher fellow of Terracotta Army museum
  • 11.45-12.00 Discussion
  • 12.00- 13.00 Lunch
  • 13.00-14.15 Reproducing the Submerged Prosperous Empire — the archaeological discovery and preservation research of Han Yangling Mausoleum Complex, by Wang Baoping, Deputy Director of Xi’an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage
  • 14.15-14.30 Discussion
  • 14.30-14.45 Coffee & Tea
  • 14.45-16.00 New Fruits of Qin and Han Archaeology,
  • by Yin Xiaqing, Deputy Director of Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Appraisal and Research Center
  • 16.00-16.15 Discussion

Magnus Reuterdahl

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