Here is another video from swordsmith, Jake Powning. In the video Jake carves a gripping beast into a wooden scabbard and talks a little bit about the techniques he’s using and the folklore that inspires him. At one point in the video (47:07-49:22), a question is asked about the difference between a piece being historically accurate or historically inspired. Jake gives an excellent reply which deals with the philosphy of history and anthropology. It touches on a subject that Erin and I have talked about a lot in our discussions about the past. Namely, that the past doesn’t exist. We can’t access it. All we can deal with are these objects and texts from the past but in the present. We make up stories about them that are internally consistent but might not neccessarily be accurate to how things were.
The stories we make up about these objects all fit together, make sense, and don’t contradict eachother, but that doesn’t mean that’s the way it was. It’s likely we’re right about a lot; but there is so much we’ll never know and probably a lot that we’ve gotten wrong. Watch the video above, but especially the part at 47:07-49:22.
Erin and I got home safely from Sweden and just decided to sell a bunch of our extra stuff. Less clutter is always good. So we’re selling almost half of our giant collection of books on Amazon! Erin went through and matched the lowest prices for almost all of these books so come check it out and get a deal! We have Art books, Comics, Christian books, Scifi, Classic Literature, Nonfiction, History, Anthropology/Archaeology, Textbooks, etc! Click on the “Book Sale!” link in the top right corner or just Click Here if you’re lazy. We’ll be updating the page frequently so check back often if you’re interested.
Click here and Here to check out free and open scientific journals on archaeology, anthropology, archaeometry, and conservation! Many of these will only be available until Nov 4th so download whatever you find interesting before then!
Mike reminded me that I took a few photos when I visited the Uppåkra excavation site! I completely forgot to post them for you. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any of the actual excavation site. I only took a few photos of the laboratory where they perform artifact conservation before transferring them to a local museum. Here are the photos:
Visiting the lab was an interesting experience because I was able to see how the conservator was removing the corrosion from a metal artifact. She was so incredibly sweet and allowed students to get a closer look at the objects. I asked what she was using (chemicals, methods, etc.) to stabilize the object and she either didn’t want to go into detail for some reason or she wasn’t employing methods about which I have read. It was a bit strange. First, she mentioned the object was “gold.” Gold is an inert metal and does not corrode or rust. It must have been an alloy; I’m just confused why she wasn’t clear about it. I admit that I am an amateur conservator with limited knowledge on the subject, but from what I have seen, there are a couple different chemical solutions and electrochemical methods that can stabilize metal objects in that state. It doesn’t have to do with funding, either; the methods are relatively inexpensive and can be set up at home! She said she was simply removing the corrosion with a pick, other small tools, and water. I hope it was deionized water! … Time for me to stop rambling about this. Honestly, the visit was very nice. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to see how excavation and conservation is done in Uppåkra. 🙂 I still have a lot to learn! Visits like these are important for students.
Now, I must get back to studying the Vikings, Swedish history, chemistry, and archaeology! We miss and love all of you…
With just one week until we leave (July 29th), this blog should finally start picking up a little. I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind you all of some of the extra features that might be easy to forget about. The column you see to the right of the page contains lots of information and is updated and changed frequently.
At the top is the definition of the word “Dobnoredo.”
Below that is the Shameless_Donation_Button™ that I mentioned yesterday.
Under that you will normally find an image and a link related to our current Culture of the Month, but we’ve been to busy to update that feature lately. Culture of the Month (CotM) will return once we’ve settled in Sweden.
Below where CotM should be, you will find Erin’s “Pic of the Week” with a description of whatever archeological artifact is pictured. If you click the photo it will take you to the new article with more information. Like CotM, this feature will be updated more regularly once we settle down in Sweden.
Next is a little pulldown menu where you can choose the post categories you want to see. If you’re a family member for instance, and you want to skip all of our Culture of the Month stuff and just get right to what we’re doing every day, you can choose the “Sweden” or “Travel” option to filter out everything else.
Below that is a list of books we’re currently reading. Although I have to admit that, for me (Mike) at least, I’m not reading most of these books anymore. I’m currently reading some science-fiction book, but I left up the anthropology books because it makes me feel smarter ;). More info on some of the books we have lined up or keep for reference can be seen on the “Our Kindle” page.
Under the “Currently Reading” section, you’ll find our Twitter feed. Again, this will become more active when we get to Sweden. We announce on Twitter whenever a new update is posted here on the blog, so if you don’t want to keep checking here every day for a new update, you can just follow us on Twitter. (@dobnoredo)
And finally, below our Twitter feed, you’ll see the current weather in Skåne (roughly pronounced “skoa-nah”), the area of Sweden in which we’ll be living.
So that’s it! Thanks for checking out our blog! Come back frequently because we’ll try to post updates as frequently as possible. We’re going to shoot for daily.
Bonus: Here’s a picture of a list of the courses that Erin will be taking at Lund University
In the name of spreading our love for anthropology and archaeology to the masses, we’re starting a new feature on the blog in addition to the normal blogging about our life and travels. Every month we’re going to highlight a different prehistoric or historic culture with weekly posts about the way those people lived, died, believed, ate, waged war, expressed themselves, and what they left behind for us to find. Our cultures for the month of February are the Aztecs, the Olmecs, and the Maya since they were relatively similar and influenced each other to a certain degree. We are leaving out a few other Mesoamerican cultures for the sake of keeping the blog posts limited or manageable. The weekly posts will probably come on the weekends so keep an eye out for that.