The criminal always returns to the scene of the crime

20 years ago I tried to become a proper field archaeologist. I was out excavating in Vendel, several seasons. Coming back there today was kind of cool and emotional. That big medieval brick-church we spent so many weeks digging trenches around back then. It was the excursion of the ATLAS-days. Each semester we gather the…

Terror on Öland

Sandbyborg is not our project, but one we work closely with. Sandbyborg was a fortified village on the Baltic island Öland. The present project is carried out under the hypothesis that it was inhabited, at least partly, by returning Scandinavians who had served in the Roman army. The excavational results tells a gruesome and violent…

“Up ahead in a distance, I saw a shimmering light”

A few days at the Middle Eastern Technical University (METU) in Ankara is always good for the soul. Mehmet Somels group, at biology here at METU, is one of the groups I work close with. I’ve said it before and I say it again, much creativity and efficiency in this group.   This meeting was…

Paleoecology, genetics, and human prehistory, and human evolution and genetics

I have previously drawn your attention to the course we are hosting (well, biology at SU is hosting) on paleoecology, genetics, and human prehistory (apply here). This course is much about the latest few hundred thousands of years, and how we use genetics and other molecular techniques to approach questions concerning humans, other mammals, and ecosystems….

The prisoners from Sala

Today the circle finally became complete, with the publication of this paper in JAS(r). This paper is extra fun to see published, as it is very much a team effort. A little more than a year ago we went on a writing retreat to northern Sweden, Lofsdalen. Everybody in the group who wanted to join…

Paleoecology, genetics and human prehistory

The application deadline for this course is the 16th of April. If you are in the Stockholm-region and have a special place in your heart for ancient DNA, or if you are really really in to the discipline and can figure out a way to spend part of the autumn in Stockholm, then check out…

Diving into racial biology

Today the course on the history of racism continued (the course Kurt Villads Jensen at History is coordinating), and it was the day when I and Janne did our lectures and exercises on racial biology and eugenics. Much of the stuff I did was pretty standard, showing the concept of isolation by distance and going…

Ways of moving forward

Collaborations are beautiful things. They bring more hands to the table. Say for example that you have too much data, and you do not have enough specialized hands to get it analysed in time, then a descent collaboration with another group may feel like God-given. Also, they often bring more competence to the table. Say…

Fox-tracks and old papers

Producing science is what we do, and naturally we want our science to be used. And for some reason it is especially nice to see old stuff being used still several years after publication. The other week I posted on a paper building on one of our older Neandertal-studies. Here is another one, about getting…

Questions and conflicts

A new paper on the conflict between ancient DNA and archaeology has gained some attention. Those papers occurs with a regular frequency, and at the heart of them the claims are always the same. The geneticists don’t know enough cultural history to handle these studies, but the main problem is one of communication, archaeologists and…

A year later

A larger, or competitive study in the making is usually difficult to talk about. There are several authors with different visons and views on what is public and what is not. And the better scientific journals (not only the absolute top-journals, but most of them) wants material that has not been presented previously. Why most…

Of goblins and other superstitious elements

I have been getting some mails and messages from various creationists lately. Creationism is something I am soo not interested in. I admire Richard Dawkins work, I enjoy reading his books and watching stuff him and his colleagues have on Youtube and other places. And I also recognize the importance of doing the work they…