Then this sojourn in Östersund has come to an end. Well it is as it and now it’s time to find new projects or a new employer. I’ve liked it up here, it’s a nice enough city and my colleagues have been great and i’ve learned a lot- though it will good to be without the constant travels for awhile.
Change is sometimes necessary and I guess now is as a good time as any. Talking about change I thought it was time for the blog to get a facelift – hope you like it. I got a few post from Vienna coming up the coming days so there will be a few pictures from a few museums – unfortunately not from das Pathologisch-anatomisches Bundesmuseum (the Federal Pathologic-anatomical Museum) in Vienna as photographing was not allowed there. I would like to recommend it though – it’s an interesting museum, with several good examples of who disease such as syphilis and tuberculoses etc can leaves marks the skeleton. So if you’re there its well worth a visit.
Perhaps “mathematical” discovery is just a bit of an overstatement, but keep in mind that I was a humanities student and math really isn’t my thing, in light of that this is hugh.
As a habitual commuter between Stockholm and Östersund, a journey of ca 550 km by car, I’ve made a discovery. I’ve travelled this route on several occasions the last year using a GPS to optimize the route. As it is quite boring to travel the exact same route every time and due to the fact that the shortest route isn´t necessary the fastest I initially experimented a bit. After awhile I found what I believe is the most effective route and then my eyes began to open.
Now, something strange occurred, I noticed that my car began to drink fuel like a drunk given access to a bar, i.e. in plentitude. Strangely enough this just happened on occasion so I began thinking that something was amiss with my car. But as it only happened on occasion I began keeping a log. After awhile I could see a pattern, my car need about 10 more liters going from Stockholm to Östersund than the other way around, ca 45 l (0,81 l/10km) vs. 35 l (0,63 l/10km). My first thought was that it might have to with my driving, did I drive faster when going to work than going home (Strange thought – I know)? Therefore, I began a new log keeping a record on my driving time, but no, the driving time was always within a 10 minute discrepancy.
So what is the problem? – The only thing I’ve been able to think of is that going towards Östersund (north) I’m moving up in the world, that is uphill, and going to Stockholm I’m going downhill, and that makes all the difference. In other words it cost me ca 130 Swedish kronor (ca $16,90, €13,65) extra going home than going to work – it’s a bummer but a discovery including math nether the less.
I’m back at the office in Östersund to produce a couple of reports and do some preparation works for some jobs in Ostergotland County. When I returned from Vastergotland to Stockholm last week I made a few stops along the way; a rune stone, a grave field and at the excavations at the Mesolithic sites in Motala where Kulturmiljövård Mälardalen (Link in Swedish) and the national Heritage board (Link in Swedish, great pictures) are working.
On occasion you’ll get envious on others projects, this is such an occasion. I can’t wait for the reports from these excavations – many of the finds are very well preserved in layers of wet mud – artifacts made of bone, antler and tree are emerging in excellent condition as well as antler chips from making the tools (Link to picture of antler with carvings). The national Heritage board has excavated at one of these sites some years back which resulted in a doctoral thesis and I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more will come out of these ones too. In total ca 50 archaeologists will work on these sites this summer. More in this in a future post.
This is a post that is long overdue, last fall sometime in November someone vandalized the Rune stone J RS1928;66 $ in Ostersund by spraying red paint on it. I’ve been set on visiting the rune stone that is placed on Froson, ca 2 km from the centre of Ostersund, since then and that happened now.
Though difficult to see on this picture the red paint is still visible, though rather week. I guess that some initial cleaning of the stone has been done. It is also possible that its been decided that this cleaning is the best way to go about it, that it would damage the stone more to do a harder scrub or use other chemicals etc.
A picture from before the vandalization is available at the National Heritage board Kulturmiljöbild (Cultural heritage pictures).
The inscription is interesting as the inscription is the earliest mentioning of the province Jamtland and also says that Jamtland been Christianized. The inscription is usually dated to ca 1050 A.D.
Inscription; Austmaðr, GuðfastaR sun, let ræisa stæin þenna ok gærva bro þessa ok han let kristna Iamtaland. Asbiorn gærði bro, Tryn/Trionn ræist ok Stæinn runaR þessaR.
Inscription translated to English; Austmaðr, Guðfastr’s son had this stone raised and this bridge made and he had Jamtaland Christianized. Ásbjôrn made the bridge, Trjónn(?) and Steinn carved these runes.
This time I was greeted by a cloud of smoke, ca 200-300 m NNW of my living quarters a fire is raging. Well, raging is perhaps a somewhat strong word as the fire department believes that they have the situation under control. But the smell of warm metal, charcoal and smoke is eminent and I live in a house built sometimes during the end of the 19th century and what is the main material – you guessed right – wood.
Well I’ll try to sleep but I guess that might sleep a bit light, partly as it’s not all that pleasent to have a fire close by partly due to the smell.
Länstidningen Östersund (article in the local paper in Swedish)
At a small flee market I visit on and off on my way to lunch when in Östersund I found a couple of books or rather booklets on place-names by Gustaf Brynnel.
Gustaf Brynnel (1907-)
I didn’t recognize his name so I googled him but didn’t find all that much. He was a teacher working in Nacka outside of Stockholm and the booklets I found concerns the place-name Stockholm and the element stock (log).
Stock, Stocken, Stockholm – ett ortnamnselement i ny belysning. 1965 (Stock, Stocken, Stockholm – a new view on a place-name element).
Stockholm och andra stock-namn (Stockholm and other names with the element stock)(published by the author), originally published in Jordbrukarnas Föreningsblad (The farmers associations paper) nr 51-52, 1964.
Om ordelement stock i nordiska ortnamn och i fågelnamnet stockand (published by the author), 1965. (About the name-element stock in Nordic place-names and in the birdname stockand1 [anas boschas]).
I’ve only scanned through the pages; the author discusses what stock means. Does it mean log/s or does it refer to an area that is often flooded, Brynnel’s conclusion is the latter. As I understand the interpretation most believes in today is that it stems from the usage of log barriers in the waterfront.
I’ll return to these booklets as I have time to read them.
1)Stockand is according to the author a local name for Gräsand in Bohusläns county. Varaiations of the name can be found in Norway (Stokkand), Denmark (Stockand), Iceland (Stokkönd and Germany (Stockente).
It’s been a difficult and in many ways a hard week, for different reasons. This Monday I attended a funeral, in Jonkoping, for a close friend of the family. Funerals are never fun but can be a situation for contemplation. Besides thinking on the departed I found myself thinking on ceremonies and rites. As an archaeologist you work with the past and the remains of those who lived a long time ago. Large parts of our material are from graves; memorial monuments over fathers, mothers, sons and daughters constructed by religious and social conventions, pretty much as today.
We often read in lots of things when studying these remains, some based on the finds, some based on interpreted texts from the time and some based on reasoning. What struck me was our, mine and those attending, need of coming together, in grieving and remembering and our need to find closure and to say goodbye. In archaeology we often seem to miss this fundamental theme when discussing or contemplating burial processes, it’s more often a discussion of social dimensions, religious belief and architectural qualities. Though this is information to be found and interpreted we shouldn’t forget the person buried and what the burial meant to them who needed to remember, as individuals and not only as a society.
In loving memory of Rolf Åkerlund
My thoughts are with the family and my memories of Rolf will live on in my mind and heart.
After the funeral I went north to Ostersund, ca 900 kilometres apart, where rain and snow awaited. I had thought I would spend this week indoors writing reports etc. but it became three days outdoors surveying instead. We are currently working some miles north of Ostersund deep in the wilderness. On Wednesday it was raining and part of the ground was covered in snow; though not that much that it was impossible to read the landscape but enough to freeze your feet and this combined with the rain and the water stuck on trees made it an unpleasant experience. Today it was a lot better as there was no rain which made it quite a pleasant day. Another problem is of course the light or rather the lack of light as the sun sets down early. Yet one day remains let us hope for good weather.
Next week I’ll spend the first couple of days in Stockholm as I’ll attend RAA’s (The Swedish National Heritage Board) conference: Kvalitet i uppdragsarkeologin (Quality in exploratory/ assignment archaeology) and then continue up to Ostersund.
I’m back and blogging again!
I awoke in Ostersund this morning after my first day at Arkeologicentrum in Scandinavia. The first days, as always, concerns a lot of getting stuff in place and learning more about the employer.
So yesterday was a slow nudge in and I guess, at least partly, so is today. I’ll also need to get around getting a place to live and learning my surroundings.
I’ll get back to you