Tag Archives: RAÄ

Mesolithic Motala on film

At the city Motala on the eastern shore line of lake Vettern a big excavation that in part is still on- going that concerns the mesolithics. The excavations are being done by Riksantikvarieämbetet (the National Heritage Board) UV Öst (RAÄ UV Öst) (link in Swedish about the excavation) and by Stiftelsen Kulturmiljö (link in Swedish about the excavation).

The excavations concern at least one settlement and several different activity areas; production sites, graves etc, that are dated to ca 6000-4000 BC. There are also remains of a medieval farmstead, dated to ca 1200-1300 AD.

There are several things that are special about this site among them the exceptional preservation environment, UV has made this film, with English subtitles, that allows you to find out more about this exiting place and the finds that has been made.

The film is produced by Martin Wanngård at BringitoLife during 2010 and 2011 and is 18 minutes long and is part of RAÄ UV Öst’s intermediary of the results.

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

Back to school

Next week I’ll attend the National Heritage board’s course on Historic Landscapes (Landskapshistorisk utbildning), which I hope will be both interesting and educational. It’ll take place in Stockholm and in Bergslagen. The course will concern ancient and historic environments from different periods in time that mirrors our history from antiquity to the 1900s such as farmlands, mining, habitual areas etc.

I’ve not spend all that much time in Bergslagen so I’ll especially look forward to that part. Bergslagen is an area in the “middle” of Sweden within the north and west part of the province Västmaland, the north part of Örebro County, the southeast part of the province Värmland and the south part of the province Dalarna. Though some also includes part of the provinces Närke, Östergötland, Uppland and Gästrikland – the boundaries differs a bit depending on source and who set them for what purpose. Anyhow Bergslagen is an area that has historically been heavily dependent of mining and metal production.

I also look forward of meeting colleagues for professional as well as social discussions and some good photo ops, so I get use of my new camera.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Two days on the topic quality

I’ve attended a conference held by RAA (The Swedish National Heritage Board) on the topic Quality in exploratory/ assignment archaeology. 

This was two interesting days with good seminars and discussions and of course a lot of old and new friends. 

Most speakers spoke on what quality is and on how to reach good quality, about problems and obstacles but also on possible solutions. As it’s very possible that the Swedish assignment archaeology will be subdued to the Public Procurement Act (Lagen om Offentlig Upphandling) in a near future. Today there are some exceptions to that act but the procedure is to be done in the spirit of the Public Procurement Act, now there are disadvantages and advantages with this that I’ll not word on today. A lot of thoughts we’re brought fourth on what was best for the future; a reversal to the old ways (a public system), to go forward with the Public Procurement Act or to find a new way of conducting assignment archaeology.

Though interesting the discussion ended up a bit of topic and was perhaps more on the future of assignment archaeology than on quality in assignment archaeology.

I’ll try to put a few words on print on the discussions the coming days as soon as I’ve time to decipher my notes.

Now it’s time for a couple of hours sleep and then it’s off north to Östersund.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Do RAA date back to 1398?

Welcome to a home baked conspiracy theory!

As I did research on a completely different matter I stumbled on an amazing discovery; RAA is a lot older than the offical records show. For you who don’t know what RAA is, it is a shortening for Riksantikvarieämbetet the Swedish National Heritage board.

As I by chance was looking in the book Svenskt ortnamnslexicon (Ed. Mats Wahlberg 2003). I encountered this reference In amne dicta RAA (In the river called RAA) 1398. Obviously this river is named after the Board which must have had had its original seat not in Stockholm but in Helsingborg.

According to official records RAA was founded 1630 may 20th and the first head of the National Heritage board was Johannes Bureus (1568-1652). As everyone can see there is a discrepancy between 1398 and 1630. As I see it there can only be one explanation this must be part of a conspiracy to cover up the actions taken during the first 232 years of service – why? Well I haven’t yet uncovered this but I’ll get back to you as soon it strikes me!

(In reality this particular Raa has no connection to the National Heritage board but is a name of a district in the city Helsingborg; Raa or as it is spelled nowadays Råå, named after the river Råå. I just couldn’t skip the chance of starting a conspiracy theory)

Magnus Reuterdahl

Joy to the world (or at least to those who love runes)

Updated (2009-02-04) see red text and yet another update in green (2009-02-05)!

Good news from the National Heritage Board of (RAA) in Sweden; Runverket (The Rune agency) will get 2 trainees (link in Swedish). The posts are for five years and are open to those with a PhD in Scandinavian languages with a historic profile or a similar education. The aim is to develop new and deeper knowledge of runic writing, research rune stone makers, to do research on management and preservation, the climates impact etc.

Rune stone U 708
Rune stone U 708

These employments are possible by funds from Riksbankens jubileumsfond (the Bank of Sweden) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.

I think this decision is one of the best news this year, so far, and I will salute it with a beer tonight (or I might just make a bridge to commemorate this decision).

I’d missed one thing; it is not two five-year openings but one for three years and one for two years.

My friend and colleague Johan from arkeologiforum.se informes me that it is 2 x 5 yrs after all; after the first two years there will an evaluation and if it falls out well then it will be another three years added. The more the merrier!


I’ve also been thinking about the term trainee;

In this case you’ll need a PhD to be qualified for the job. I personally connect the term trainee with something on a lesser level as a beginner or a novice. As I interpret the term trainee it is someone that is taught the trade from the inside, in this case I don’t feel that’s the case. Here RAA wants researchers to do research. Now learning and research is a lifelong process but when does the education stop and the work begin? To spend four years on post graduate program, getting a PhD and then get the title trainee feels a bit incapacitating in my view why not just call it a project employment or time limited employment as a runeologist.

Maybe I am in the wrong here; I’ll linger on it a bit longer and ponder over it for a while. Please leave a comment on your thoughts on this.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m still very pleased that Runverket gets more resources.

Magnus Reuterdahl

I’ve got post

I’ve been in meetings all day. When I returned to my office I got a pleasant package in the mail, Fornvännen 2008/4.

Fornvännen is Sweden’s oldest (1906-), largest and most important journal of prehistory and Medieval studies, and publishes Scandinavia’s largest reviews section in the field. In this issue I’ve got a review published;

Kaliff, A. (ed) 2007.  Archaeology in the east and the west. Papers presented at the Sino-Sweden Archaeology forum, Beijing, in September 2005. p 297-299.

Magnus Reuterdahl

The story of Tengbom organ façade in St Nikolai’s Church

I can’t say that that I had any knowledge about this affair before I stumbled across this article on the National heritage board’s (RAA) webpage. By chance I opened it and found an interesting article regarding a subject I otherwise probably never would have stumbled upon; an organ façade and the fights concerning its restoration or not. In this case the reinstatement of Ivar Tengbom’s organ façade in St Nikolai’s Church Halmstad.

The article concerns the issues on the restoration, the history of the façade, about the church’s purchase and installation of a new organ even though Tengbom’s was considered a cultural heritage and legally protected and therefore was to be restored and reinstated. An interesting tale of a struggle between different interests.

Originally this article, written by Marianne Lundberg and Niclas Fredriksson both working at RAA, was published in Orgelforum (3 2007:3 p. 12-16).

 Well, read all about here;

Tengbom façade on St Nikolai’s Church in Halmstad; clarification (In English)

Tengbomsfasaden i S:t Nikolai kyrka i Halmstad– ett klargörande (In Swedish)

After reading the article, that is interesting from several angles, it strengthen my belief that we need a strong and alert, as in this case, Governmental supervision to ensure the cultural heritage in all its form.

Magnus Reuterdahl

One week ‘til Christmas

Christmas is closing in and with that a few weeks of relaxation. I’ll be spending the holidays with my parents in Jönköping this year. To make sure the walls won’t be closing in to tight I brought my share of books to keep my occupied. As usual these last year the list constitutes fact oriented books. This year the theme will be effects on and the detritions and conservation of archaeological materials.Påverkan på arkeologiskt material i jord (The effects of soil on archaeological artifacts) – Anders G. Nord and Agneta Lagerlöf 2002.

Nedbrytning av arkeologiskt material i jord (Deterioration of archaeological material in soil) – Gunnel Friberg  [Ed.] 1994.

Bevarande av arkeologiskt järn efter utgrävning (Conservation of archaeological iron after an excavation) – Gunnel Friberg [Ed.] 1996.

Deterioration of archaeological material in soil- Results on bronze artifacts – Gunnel Friberg [Ed.] 1996.

I will also be reading a new book on Chinese and Swedish archaeology; Archaeology in the East and the West: Papers presented at the Sino-Sweden Archaeology Forum, Beijing in September 2005 edited by Anders Kaliff.


More info of the forum can be found on CASS webpage.


Magnus Reuterdahl

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