It only took 6 years…

…before I decided to pay attention and heed the call.

Welcome back to my blog! As you can see from perusing through previous posts, this blog functioned as a means to share news and document some of my travels in Scandinavia while I completed my undergraduate degree in Anthropology/Archaeology. Now, after spending many years working in HR, I have decided to return to school and earn my graduate degree. I am excited to share that I will be attending University College Cork in Ireland beginning this coming August! I will be living there for a little over a year, and possibly longer depending on where exactly I find employment after graduation.

I haven’t yet been able to really articulate all of the emotions that come along with this change, so I will jump right into sharing a few images of the beautiful campus!

Enchanting and inspiring!

As one of the requirements for the degree, I will be doing a work placement at the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin. It is located about 3 hours north of Cork.

The stunning architecture and breathtaking landscapes are part of what drew me to apply to this school! As I will be working very hard and focusing on my studies, I may not post too often, but when I do, I’m sure I will have very much to share!

Thanks for following along!

Goodbye, Sweden!

It has been an amazing 6 months. Yes, it went faster than we expected. Sweden is such a beautiful country with a rich and exciting history. This experience has solidified many of my UCSD lessons and given me a taste of what it’s like to be far away from home for a relatively long period of time. Thank you readers for following along! 😀 We are so excited to go home; but we will definitely keep Sweden in our hearts.

I want to extend a heartfelt and special thanks to the Gilman Scholarship Program and the Swedish Women’s Educational Association for their generous support. If there are any undergraduate readers out there, I strongly recommend studying abroad in Sweden! If you do, visit the links above and visit your campus study abroad office to apply for those scholarships. Sweden has so much to offer everyone. As you’ve read on this blog, there is a tremendous amount of archaeological sites and museums to visit. Lund University also offers unique opportunities to students from various fields. A couple of my fellow exchange students each had the opportunity to work full-time in labs for course credit! I believe one was working in Chemistry and the other in Neurology. Consider studying abroad in Sweden. You won’t regret it! 🙂 Even for those who are not in college, spend a week or two in Lund! You can travel the Skåne region and across to southern Denmark with ease. The public transportation system here is fantastic and allows the travelers to get the most out of their visits.

Thank you, Sweden, for an enriching learning experience! 🙂

your friendly neighborhood archaeologist ♥

New Year Celebration in Malmö

We didn’t plan to do anything for New Years except stay up in our apartment watching movies. It turns out we were treated to to quite a show anyway. Let me back up. Fireworks are legal in Sweden (unlike in Southern California). Starting the day after Christmas, we were treated to a constant barrage of the whistle and pop of small firecrackers and bottle rockets every few minutes, 24 hours a day. At first I thought maybe it was a Christmas tradition and it would die down. But the frequency of the bangs only increased as the days went on. As we got closer to New Years Eve I realized that the Swedes probably had a stash of fire crackers saved up for New Year. But why were they wasting them? They were going to run out. At 11:59pm Dec 31st, I thought we were going to be treated to the whiz bang little bottle rockets and people hitting pots and pans together like in California. HA! Did I ever underestimate them! At around 10 minutes to midnight, I began to hear louder bangs and much more frequently. So I grabbed my camera phone and when to the window to see this.

(Sorry for filming it sideways. You may want to watch it in full screen mode.)

As you can see, Swedes apparently stockpile a huge number of full-sized fireworks for New Years. I’ve never seen such an amazing display, and that includes the time I spent 4th of July on the deck of an aircraft carrier. During the first few minutes of the video you can see people launching full sized fireworks from the lawn literally just outside our window. That is, until they had 3 ground explosions in a row and decided to call it a night. At about 7:50, the display really picks up. And then a few minutes later, someone launches 3 red signal flares. It felt like being in a warzone. It was quite an impressive display.

Happy New Years!

God jul och gott nytt år!

That’s Swedish for “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”

Time to Sign Graduation Paperwork!

I have just completed all the requirements for my Bachelor’s degree in Anthropological Archaeology! 🙂

As soon as I return to San Diego, I will meet with my advisors and sign the papers! The ceremony isn’t until June, but I will still get my degree in the mail soon. 🙂 I can’t wait to frame it! I am so excited and relieved to have made it through this process. UCSD is an amazing school and I will truly miss it.

What’s next for me? Work and graduate school.

-Erin 🙂

New Pic of the Week: Ancient Curse Tablet


I just put up a new Pic of the Week on the sidebar on the right. It is an ancient lead curse tablet like the kind I wrote about a few months ago [here]. If you click the picture you can see the whole story and the translation. It’s interesting stuff.

Museums, Mikkeller, and a Christmas market!

Greetings, everyone! Erin, here. 🙂

Mike and I had one of the best days here, so far! We spent 13 hours exploring a different part of Copenhagen, browsing museums, having great conversation in a local craft brew pub, and wandering the colorful grounds of Tivoli (an amusement park done up for Christmas)! [Mike Edit: My feet are telling me it was actually 13 days, not 13 hours.] We began our day at the National Museum of Denmark. We both fell in love with every object! We were especially struck by the Gundestrup cauldron, a ritual cauldron made by the Celts of central Europe. It dates back to around the La Tène culture period, one of Mike’s favorites! [Mike Edit: The La Tene culture was an early celtic culture from Switzerland.] Below is a picture of this beautiful cauldron and others taken at the National Museum of Denmark.

National Museum of DenmarkNational Museum of DenmarkNational Museum of Denmark

National Museum of DenmarkNational Museum of DenmarkNational Museum of Denmark

After we visited the National Museum of Denmark, we wandered around Copenhagen after lunch before meeting my teacher at the Glyptoteket. This museum houses TONS of classical sculptures from Rome, Greece, and France. There was also a temporary Polynesian exhibit. Mike was like a kid in a candy store. Everyone split up from the teacher (after we met with her at the entrance so she could so very kindly grant us free admission 🙂 ), but I had my own teacher with me the entire way! We spent hours browsing around as Mike would see a classical sculpture and tell me exactly who is being portrayed, what is being symbolized, and the mythology behind them. (I need to take this man to Rome, he would be absolutely hypnotized!) Below are a few pictures from Glyptoteket. The first one on the left is one he just quickly glanced at before explaining that it was the muse of tragedy and associated with theatre. Notice her weapon and her holding the “head” as if she had cut it off, and also the “head” being a mask for theatre. [Mike Edit: It doesn’t say that on the plaque, it’s just a guess on my part so take it with a grain of salt. But it seems obvious that the severed head/mask is a visual pun. She’s the muse of tragedy, thus the severed head. But she’s also a muse of theatre so the severed head is a mask.]
I have no background in classical archaeology. Mike was the perfect guide! 🙂


National Museum of DenmarkGlyptoteketGlyptoteket

After our visit to Glyptoteket, we walked to Mikkeller Bar, a local pub specializing in craft brews. Beer geeks everywhere know it! Mike was super excited to be able to drink Mikkeller beers he can’t get in San Diego (without importing it.) It’s a very small place with friendly locals. Who did Mike happen to meet at the bar? A guy who lives in our same complex in Malmö (but different building)! They both enjoyed their fancy beers and talked for a couple hours. 🙂 This was the exact experience we were hoping for when we planned to visit Mikkeller. [Mike Edit: I’ve always wanted to visit that place because they’re known for their amazing craft brews. I never thought I’d be able to until a year or two ago when we decided we were coming to Sweden. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since.]

After we left the pub, we walked to Tivoli, a small amusement park fully decorated for Christmas! Beautiful, colorful lights everywhere! By that time, we were all giddy from such a good day and just browsed around taking a couple pictures before going home. It turns out the gifts were too expensive, so we’ll end up doing our Christmas shopping in Malmö markets. 🙂 Below are a couple pictures from Tivoli.


All in all, it was a fantastic day! My kind teacher was generous enough to extend the school discounts (free trip, free admission) to Mike. So, on top of all that fun, we saved money! Thank you to my teacher and thank you to Denmark for a great day. 🙂