Teaching and recruiting

There, a full week of teaching ancient DNA on the archaeology course behind me. The history of ancient DNA, our basic tools such as PMD, PCAs, D-stat, F-stat, ADMIXTURE, and some metagenomics and paleopathology, some ethics, and some independent work on published articles. When I was whining about this incredible work-load, Anna Linderholm who is…

Arkeologiforum and the naturalization of ancient DNA

Arkeologiforum was arranged by Populär Arkeologi today. Populär Arkeologi is a part of Vetenskapsmedia i Sverige AB, a family that also includes Forskning och Framsteg, Språk, Modern Psykologi, and Fokus. I have been engaged by them previously, and always been impressed with their professionalism and how informative and still entertaining they manage to get their…

Diagenetic activities in Copenhagen

Time and space, two things bound to certain laws. One of them is that there is never enough of either. To be able to examine Anne Marie Høier Eriksen’s Ph.D. thesis “Bone Diagenesis – The effect of depositional environments on bone degradation” and still make FoFs archaeology-day tomorrow I ended up on a quick return…

Bergsgraven and the evolution of aDNA studies

A quarter of a century ago, 25 years ago, I started to work on the Neolithic burial known as “Bergsgraven”. A Scandinavian Battle Axe burial with an adult male, an adult female, a baby, and a dog in it. And wow did I get some results! I was checking if they were a nuclear family,…

Aiming for the really old world

I was called in to a meeting a few days ago. When I arrived, there was a good friend who is working with documentaries (Henrik Silver), a leader from the enterprise sphere with a lot of experience from Asia and Africa (Marcus Skinnar), and an archaeologist active in Africa (Mohammed Mohammed). “We walked in to…

ADFs “Unlocking the past” symposium

ADF, the SciLife aDNA facility, was hosting a meeting in Uppsala these past two days. The intention was to let archaeologists and potential clients know that it is up and running, and also to provide a taste of what ADF can be used for. Thus, some of the established aDNAers were presenting, as well as…

Back in town

Wolves, the northernmost archaeological remains in the world, and a lake-coring archaeology. That was last month. There is one lake we cored, that is likely one of the most scienced lakes in the world by now. A lake on northeastern Greenland in which no one had done anything previously, but which is now multi-beamed, sub-bottom…

A quick stop in New York

A natural stop on the way to northern Greenland is New York, it proves. It has to do with how flights are organized to Thule, so we ended up a few days in the Big Apple. And what to do here? Visiting Erich Jarvis at Rockefeller University was one thing. Apart from running a group…

Greasing boots

After a vacation with some writing and a little bit of SMBE in Manchester, it is time to grease boots. I have not done that since I was in the army more than 30 years ago. As I have never been to the arctic and thus in need for greased boots. Much of the aDNA…

”A good first mate will never become a captain.”

”A good first mate will never become a captain.” The words are my dad’s, an old sailor. Meaning that being able to load and unload a ship efficiently is such valuable quality that a shipping company would not be willing to lose it by elevating the first mate to a proper captain. Is it likely…

A thesis in Poznan on Çatalhöyük

Two days ago Maciej Chylenski defended his thesis, and he had a particularly mean and vicious examiner, namely me. With my stealthy and mischievous attacks coming in under the radar, I kept him on his toes. I thought. But actually he didn´t seem to worry too much about my questions. My verbal daggers did not…

A dissertation which taught me that we have to look over our enzymes

PCR is like cars. The car was invented a long time ago, but it remains important, and it is constantly developed and refined. Today I had the pleasure of examining Maja Sidstedt (as a member of the committee, Titia Sijen was the faculty opponent, and an excellent job she did). And the thesis was focused…