Back again

Oct. 26th, 2011 09:06 pm
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
I'm back at work now, and luckily no emergencies had come up while I was away. I'm the only animal bone expert there (apart from my fish specialist boss) so unfortunately I can't delegate site visits and such. The holiday was lovely, but as usual too short. Holidays always are, aren't they? I didn't do that much, mainly visiting friends and family and relaxed. I got some good tips on how to angle my ph.d. proposal for next time, so now I have lots of reading to do for next year.

Work is continuing in the busy-mode. Right now I'm juggling three different sites, all in the process of being phased - which is why I can't do them one by one: I do the phased part of one site, then go over to the next, while the rest of site one gets phased. If I had lots of time (which you never do in commercial archaeology) I could record all the bones from the entire site, regardless of phasing and then ignore the unphased bones later when it came to the actual analysis/write-up. But since I'm on a limited budget, I can only record bones from securely phased contexts, ergo this site juggling.

I came across a couple of interesting things, which I thought I'd share with you:
- A decorated spindle whorl from an Iron Age Swedish site.

- A workshop at the archaeology department at Lund University (Sweden) Thursday 3 November 15.15-18.00: To find Iron Age settlements with metal detectoring. (All in Swedish though)
Talks: Kristina Jennbert: Vadå metalldetektering?; Charlotte Fabech: Bebyggelse och metallföremål - en landskapsarkeologisk utmaning. Tanker efter undersökningarna i Stora Hammar; Håkan Svensson: Det glimmar på dumphögen - om avbaningsarkeologins begränsningar och möjligheter; Birgitta Hårdh: Fibulor som massmaterial.

- An intact Viking Age boat burial found in Scotland.
ossamenta: Fossil of a pterosaur (Rhamphorhyncus longicaudus). (Flygödlefossil)
Blogposts with links are often called linkspam, but personally, I think that's the wrong word. Spam is something I don't want, whereas interesting links will brighten up my day. Therefore, I will call these posts linksoup, since soup is delicious! :-)


I found an interesting blog today: Powered by osteons, written by a human bone specialist in Italy. Lots of Roman posts, but also a great variety of interesting stuff, such as the use of sulphur isotope analysis to research fish consumption and the age of weaning.

Contagions is a more specialised blog, about historic infectious disease. I had only time to poke around a bit, but found posts on trench fever and the black death. As some of you probably already have heard, dna from Yersinia pestis has been extracted from several skeletons from a plague pit in London, thus confirming that Yersinia was (at least one of) the bacteria that wrecked havoc in Europe in the mid-14th century. (More info, and some background to the debate)


Yersinia pestis: Isn't she cute!


On a Mesolithic site in Sweden, archaeologists have found human skulls on stakes, placed in a shallow lake near the settlement. For once, the use of "ritual" doesn't seem far-fetched. I can't wait to read the report on this site. The Mesolithic has a special place in my heart, ever since I studied prehistoric archaeology in Lund. So many rich sites in Scania and Denmark, with not only bone and antler but also wood. On the other hand, Mesolithic sites that only yield flint scatters, as is the case in most of Britain, is rather boring.
(More detailed information on the site and ceremonial deposit in the site blog - only in Swedish, though)

Going even further back in time, dinosaur feathers have been found in amber! Unfortunately I didn't see any when I was on the lookout for nice amber in Gdansk.

For those of you who are based near London, or a planning a winter visit, the new exhibition
Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination will be at the British Library from 11 November-13 March.

And don't forget to put a note in the calendar for 2013: a big Viking exhibition at the National Museum in Denmark (Copenhagen), the Museum für Vor- und Frügeschichte (Berlin) and the British Museum (London). The National Museum in Denmark has a blog on the ongoing work with creating the exhibition (Danish only).

Keeping on the historical side, I must recommend Reel history: a blog series on the accuracy on various historical movies. On a related note, the fabulous Isis* wrote a post on how the present fashion is reflected in historical movies.

*: I adore 18th century fashion (the movie Dangerous Liasons, anyone?) and someday I will get around to make a 18th century outfit.


Various useful sources I found online:
- Abstracts from the 15th meeting of the ICAZ fish remains working group in 2009 (pdf)
- London lives 1690-1800: crime, poverty and social policy in the metropolis. Digitised and searchable primary sources focussing on middle and lower class Londoners. The sources include over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives and is supplemented by fifteen datasets created by other projects.
- A ph.d. thesis which is right in my interest sphere: Marianne Erath, Studien zum mitelalterlichen Knochenschnitzerhandwerk : die Entwicklung eines spezialiserten Handwerks in Konstanz (Studies on Medieval craft of bone-turners: development of a specialised handcraft in Konstanz) (pdf)
- My colleague Jessica Grimm's thesis Animal keeping and the use of animal products in medieval Emden (Lower Saxony, Germany).
- Another interesting ph.d. - on medieval textiles and fashion rather than bone: Eva I. Andersson (2006) Kläderna och människan i medeltidens Sverige och Norge (Clothing and the individual in Medieval Sweden and Norway) (pdf)

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ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
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