September 05, 2014

6:02 PM | "Can I just drop my death trophies off at your office, Dr. Killgrove?"
I popped into lab late yesterday afternoon, since my new TA Andrea was helping some students study for their first quiz in Human Osteology. Noticed an odd box on one of the lab tables--clearly handmade, not very well, of lightweight, stained wood with five holes poked in the top. I asked Andrea if it was hers, but it wasn't. It wasn't there Wednesday when we had class, and Andrea knew the TA for the Thursday afternoon intro to biological anthropology lab hadn't brought it in either.We opened […]
2:53 PM | The Wit and Wisdom of Discowrld: Interesting Times
I’ve been pretty poor at doing these over the last few weeks but I’m back! And this week I have selected a book at random from Terry Pratchett’s The Wit and Wisdom of Discowrld, complied by Stephen Briggs. I have not personally read this book yet but it sounds like a good one! This book […]
12:20 PM | Arrival Songs
The English language has a rich tradition of songs celebrating the joys of orgasm. Here are just a few examples. Sumer Is Icumen In (anon., 13th century) Come Again (John Dowland, 1597) Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (Charles Wesley, 1745) Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing (Robert Robinson, 1757) Come, Ye Disconsolate (Thomas Moore, 1816) Oh…

September 04, 2014

5:00 PM | Performing Funerals in Mycenaean Greece (1600-1100 BCE)
I’ve been spending the last few days learning about grave goods found with the dead during the Early Anglo-Saxon period. Grave goods are an interesting artifact- as it isn’t something […]

Boyd, Michael (2014). The materiality of performance in Mycenaean funerary practices, World Archaeology,


September 03, 2014

12:20 PM | LARPing Enters the Archaeological Record
Here’s a neat case of self-perpetuating archaeology. Medieval history spawned sword & sorcery literature. This literature spawned tabletop fantasy role-playing games and Medieval re-enactment groups. These games and groups spawned live action role playing. And now the larpers have created a market for faux-Medieval coinage, which they are buying at game stores, using at larps…

September 02, 2014

9:00 PM | Psychedelic Culture Tripped Circa 500 A.D.
Mind-altering substances were all the rage 1,500 years ago, at least among certain elite members of a South American society.
1:50 PM | An Osteological Case of Ancient Down Syndrome.
Scrolling through the International Journal of Paleopathology I came across an article entitled ‘Ancient Down syndrome: An osteological case from Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, northeastern France, from the 5–6th century AD’ by Rivollat et al (2014). During my studies I only came across Down Syndrome in genetics it is caused by a partially or complete third copy of chromosome 21, which is […]
12:20 PM | Shades of Dr. Jones
I’ve read Marilyn Johnson’s forthcoming book Lives in Ruins. Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble. It’s a collection of lively and enthusiastic portraits of contemporary archaeologists in their professional environment. Some may find the tone a bit too enthusiastic, pantingly so in parts, but that’s a matter of taste. Archaeologists should arguably be…

September 01, 2014

12:20 PM | August Pieces Of My Mind #2
14 August marked 200 years of unbroken peace for Sweden. Eight generations. Most of us don’t even remember the name of the latest ancestor of ours who survived a war. Other people get moments of déjà vu. I get moments of dissociation, when Martin Rundkvist seems not to be me. Neat serendipitous combination of podcasts.…

August 31, 2014

7:30 PM | The Marathon Conspiracy by Gary Corby
Digital Review: 1. The Marathon Conspiracy is the fourth outing for ancient Greek proto-sleuth Nicolaos, and the first since his debut to spend much time in Athens. I was interested to see how this went as the first time I thought Gary Corby’s Athens wasn’t quite as grim as I’d imagined it. Either I’ve lightened…

August 30, 2014

3:39 PM | Saturday Morning Mushrooms
Mushroom picking again this morning, this time in the area between Lakelets Skinnmossen and Knipträsket. Found more velvet and birch boletes than we cared to pick. King bolete, Stensopp/Karl Johan, Boletus edulis Bay bolete, Brunsopp, Boletus badius Orange birch bolete, Tegelsopp, Leccinum versepelle Velvet bolete, Sandsopp, Suillus variegatus Chanterelle, Kantarell, Cantharellus cibarius Gypsy mushroom, Rynkad…

August 28, 2014

6:05 PM | Week 20 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
This week was totally focused on the bones in the lower half of the body, minus the patelllas. This included a few articulated pelvic girdles, all the lower leg bones and some articulated feet. All of these bones were very easy to record as they were in good condition. There weren’t even that any pathologies […]
4:56 PM | Unique 2000-Year-Old Wooden Toilet Seat Found
The artifact had been well used by Roman soldiers and looks as though it was quite comfortable. Continue reading →
1:49 PM | Stockholm Archaeology Library Opens Up Further
The library of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters is (one of?) Scandinavia’s biggest research library (ies) for archaeology, the history of art and allied disciplines. Since it’s co-located with the archives of the National Heritage Board in the East Stable next to the Swedish History Museum, it’s an amazing place to do research. And…

August 27, 2014

7:00 PM | World's Oldest Wine Cellar Fueled Palatial Parties
Forty wine jars were found within the remains of a mud-brick-walled room in Israel.
5:19 PM | 2,700-Year-Old Phoenician Shipwreck Discovered
A Phoenician trading ship dating to 700 B.C. is discovered off the island of Malta. The wreck is one of the oldest ever found in the Mediterranean Sea. Continue reading →

August 26, 2014

8:02 PM | Tomb Raiders Likely Plundered Ancient Greek Site
A suspicious door leads archaeologists to believe Greece's mystery tomb was robbed. Continue reading →
8:00 PM | Greek Tomb Shows Signs of Looting: Photos
Greek archaeologists excavate the massive burial mound in Amphipolis and find evidence that tomb raiders plundered the site.

August 25, 2014

6:55 PM | Was There An Alien Thigh Bone Found on Mars?
No. Definitely no. It’s just a combination of sand and wind that has caused a rock to have a similarity to a femur. But its not a femur. Its a […]
1:00 PM | Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 16)
It's the first day of classes here at UWF, which means a fresh crop of undergraduates in my Human Osteology class.  And with perfect timing, here's the case of the 38-year-old ectopic pregnancy that has been making the rounds on the various social media I frequent.  It's a pretty interesting case, and the MRI seems to show a fetal skeleton (inasmuch as I have no professional training in reading an MRI).  The Daily Mail carried a photo, though, of the doctors' attempt at […]

August 24, 2014

6:44 PM | Day Trip to the City of Bath
Today I went on a day trip to the city of Bath with my Mum and sister. I’ve been to Bath quite a few times as I am lucky enough to live not too far away. The first thing that we did was to visit the Roman Baths. It is a well preserved site of […]
2:49 AM | Fall Courses - Bioarchaeology and Osteology
Starting Monday, I get to teach my dream-lineup of semester courses: Human Osteology (with lab) and Bioarchaeology.  In the spring, I went through the process of getting Bioarch on the books as a new course, and this will be the first time I've taught it since 2006.  And, believe me, the practice of bioarchaeology has changed a lot since then.Since starting at UWF, when I noticed a program on my university-issued computer I'd never used before (Microsoft Publisher), I've been spiffing […]

August 23, 2014

10:02 AM | Crayfish Gastroliths
It’s the time of the year when it used to become legal to catch and sell Swedish crayfish, and so the grocery stores sell Turkish and Chinese crayfish for a few weeks. The traditional way to eat them is to boil them with dill, salt and a little sugar, and serve them with toast, strong…

August 22, 2014

5:02 PM | Friday Mushrooms
Has it really been almost four years since I blogged about mushrooms? This afternoon me and my wife repeated our September 8, 2010 expedition to the hills between Lakes Lundsjön and Trehörningen and picked almost a kilo of mushrooms in a bit more than an hour. We got: King bolete, Stensopp/Karl Johan, Boletus edulis Bay…
4:34 PM | Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 15)
The Huffington Post recently posted this picture and asked, "Is that a thigh bone on Mars?"Answer: No.  Just... what?  No.  Which part of that looks like a femur?Previous installments of Who needs an osteologist?Abbot House Museum needs an osteologist.The Zanjan Museum needs an osteologist.National Geographic Channel's "Nazi War Diggers" needs an osteologist.BBC/NOVA needs an osteologist.The Penn Museum needs an osteologist.National Geographic needs an osteologist.Acura needs an […]
4:10 PM | Oldest Metal Object in Middle East Discovered in Grave
A copper awl is the oldest metal object unearthed to date in the Middle East.
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