Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

A short update from Leiden

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

I’ve been in Leiden for¬†two months now and it’s rather enjoyable. The town is very nice and the same can be said about the university. It’s a university which put focus on archaeology as is evident from the fact that a whole faculty has been devoted to it. There is also a¬†department for osteology and funerary archaeology with several times more osteologists than in the whole of Norway, so, for me, this is¬†an excellent place to be. I’ve even gone slightly Dutch since I’ve been here. The last time I went Dutch was at Sandown Park.¬†I’m riding a bike to work and I’ve started to make sounds previously unfamiliar to me during conversations. The Dutch language is, indeed, an interesting one, and quite good fun to try¬†to learn.

With views like these along the way, the ride to work is quite pleasant.



Over to something more serious and project related. I’ve got a slightly busy, and hopefully quite exciting,¬†week ahead of me. On Monday I’m going to Trondheim to attend the yearly¬†SAMKUL conference and seminar. ¬†There I will meet project leaders and participants in the¬†other SAMKUL funded projects and learn more about the¬†other research projects within this NRC program. My stay in Trondheim will, however,¬†be a rather short one and already the next day I’ll be leaving for Innsbruck where I will meet with the Walther Parson and Petra Kralj from the¬†GMI. This is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time and will be very important for the project. The rest of the week we will go through the results of the DNA¬†analyses and¬†I don’t really have any idea of what’s been found, so, needless to say, these are exciting times.

I have also had some time to look at the isotope data¬†and there is a good mixture of exciting and expected results. It is evident that the studied population was quite a mobile one, with people moving to and from the¬†area, and some moving away and later back again. I can’t go into too much detail as the interpretation of the data hasn’t finished and it will also have to be properly published before I can share every detail here on the blog. With regard to the further interpretation of the isotope data, I am pleased to announce that I will be cooperating with Val√©rie Daux at Universit√© de Versailles in France. I am very hopeful that this cooperation will be¬†a great asset for project and I’m looking forward to our first meeting in a couple of weeks’ time.

Some plans for the autumn

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

It’s been a while since my last post but¬†my excuse is that is has been a quiet summer and there haven’t been any major developments in the project. That said, I haven’t had my vacation yet and have actually¬†spent much of the summer in the office, so a few things have been done.¬†An article and a book chapter have been finished and hopefully this will be published in not too long. Probably not until the first half of next year though, things take time. Otherwise I’ve done some reading about immigration in the middle ages,¬†and done different¬†preparations for the autumn. Contrary to normal, I have a somewhat busy autumn ahead of me with a¬†fair bit¬†of travelling. I will be giving two talks about my project, one in Innsbruck at the GMI and one in Oslo. The talk in Oslo is part of an initiative by the Norwegian Research Council where they want the SAMKUL research to reach a wider audience by offering talks at¬†different ministry departments. The idea is that a department can choose from a list of SAMKUL topics to be presented to them when they¬†find it appropriate. I have signed up for this initiative, so now it’s only to see if anyone books a talk about my immigration project. Otherwise, I’ll be going to Denmark to do the last of the enamel sampling, to Madrid with the institute, and to London for a seminar. I¬†will probably¬†write about these¬†different events when the time comes. It should be a¬†good autumn and I’m also¬†hoping the first¬†analysis results will come in during the coming months, something I’m very much looking forward to.

But first I’m off to Italy¬†for three weeks with the family. The panama is packed and I’m praying for some¬†sun and¬†better temperatures.

The research sample is finally decided on

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013


After a¬†few weeks¬†off work with illness followed by two weeks leave in relation to the birth of our latest family member, Vincent, I have spent the first days of this week going through all the archaeological documentation again. Although it is somewhat delayed, I have compiled a detailed¬†list of skeletons I want to include in my final study sample. This was slightly more complicated than anticipated due to the¬†restrictions/requirements I had to abide by.¬†Firstly, due to the research design,¬†all the skeletons had to have both the first and the third molar preserved and there had to be some relatively well preserved bone material as well. This excluded quite a large portion of the material; slightly more than I expected actually. The sample selection was further complicated by instructions from the curating institution requiring that I sample,¬†as far as possible,¬†from the same skeletons which are currently being¬†used by another research project. The reason for this requirement¬†is purely preservational and¬†is perfectly acceptable. I have now finally¬†managed to collate a sample which I¬†believe will fulfil all requirements. The list of the specific skeletons¬†I want access to have been sent to the relevant people and I’m hoping for a¬†positive reply, otherwise it’s back to the drawing board.

Immigration and mobility in mediaeval and post-mediaeval Norway
Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen

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