My personal review of 2018

2018

was a fruitful, strenuous and crucial year in my life. I received my second research grant, I conducted my first conference session ever, I got to know and met wonderful people, I visited wonderful places in Denmark, England, Germany, Sweden and I took there numerous photos. Above that 2018 was my first year which I spent nearly in whole in Germany in my lovely Kiel.

In January, I welcomed for the first time ever New Year in wonderful Kiel. On 10th January I visited Archaeozoological Laboratory of ZBSA in Schleswig where I studied fascinating bird bones from Hedeby/Haithabu.

In February, I visited gorgeous old part of Schleswig. I also examined artefacts with bird depictions in the Archaeological Museum Schloss Gottorf in Schleswig.

In May, I discovered and photographed amazing graffiti in Kiel. Above all I visited Copenhagen and Roskilde for the first time ever. I saw there not only old architecture and wonderful places (I København [Bind I]I København [Bind II], I Roskilde) but also captivating museums (I Nationalmuseet, I Zoologisk Museum, I Designmuseum Danmark).

In July, I visited again fascinating Archaeozoological Laboratory of ZBSA in Schleswig.

In August, I had possibility to examine burnt bird bones which were discovered in different parts of Ribe. On 23rd August 2018 I also visited beautiful Ålborg, museums in Fyrkat and captivating Lindholm Høje. During this month I saw also fascinating Zoological Museum of Kiel University (Zoological Museum of Kiel University, In the Zoological Museum of Kiel University [Vol. 2]). This month was also my last which I spent in wonderful Kiel. On 31st August I left this city with heavy heart and many wonderful memories.

November of 2018 was again (in the same month in 2017 I visited Stockholm for the fist time) month dedicated to my visit in the Swedish History Museum. I spent wonderful time in Stockholm not only examining bird bones from Viking Age cremation graves but also seeing old part of this city and fabulous museums (I höstlig Stockholm, I Stockholms museerna igen, I Statens Historiska Museet igen, I Stockholms tunnelbana, I Naturhistoriska riksmuseet).

Last month of this year was special to me. On 18th December I had the honour and the pleasure to be host of the session ‘Beasts, Birds and Other Fauna: Animals and Their Meaning in the Early Middle Ages‘ at 40th Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference at University of Chester in Chester. It was incredible and unforgettable experience not only to conduct this session but also to listen numerous captivating papers on human-animal relations in the Early Medieval Period.


I would like to thank you very much for fantastic and unforgettable meetings, discussions, conferences and adventures in 2018!

I wish you good health, unforgettable adventures, unusual photos, fascinating discoveries and numerous successes in the upcoming year 2019!

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In Chester Zoo

In December (14-20 December 2018) I visited Chester (England). Aim of my visit in this gorgeous place was to take a part in the 40th Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference at University of Chester (17-19 December 2018). During this captivating event I hosted session ‘Beasts, Birds and Other Fauna: Animals and Their Meaning in the Early Middle Ages‘ on human-animal relations in the Early Medieval Period and I also presented paper ‘Through Fire to the Otherworld: Viking Age Cremation Graves with Bird Remains‘. Before this captivating event I decided to see wonderful old part of Chester, Grosvenor Museum and Chester Zoo.

Wandering through animal worlds in Chester Zoo

On 15th December 2018 I decided to see fabulous Chester Zoo. I visited there among others things places where dangerous predators are kept, wonderful (but very humid and hot) pavilion with colourful butterflies, fascinating Tropical Realm with numerous birds flying around and outstanding pavilion where you can walk surrounded by flying bats. I was wonderful experience to see, listen, observe and admire amazing birds (e.g. cinereous vulture [Aegypius monachus], rhinoceros hornbill [Buceros rhinoceros]), small herd of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), different calm reptiles, lively amphibians and majestic big cats (e.g. jaguar [Panthera onca], cheetah [Acinonyx jubatus]).

In the Tropical Realm

Arachnids

Amphibia

Reptilia

Aves

Mammalia

In Grosvenor Museum

In December (14-20 December 2018) I visited Chester (England). Aim of my visit in this gorgeous place was to take a part in the 40th Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference at University of Chester (17-19 December 2018). During this captivating event I hosted session ‘Beasts, Birds and Other Fauna: Animals and Their Meaning in the Early Middle Ages‘ on human-animal relations in the Early Medieval Period and I also presented paper ‘Through Fire to the Otherworld: Viking Age Cremation Graves with Bird Remains‘. Before this captivating event I decided to see wonderful old part of Chester, Grosvenor Museum and Chester Zoo.

Exhibitions in Grosvenor Museum

On 15th December 2018, after visiting old part of Chester, I decided to see exhibitions in Grosvenor Museum. I started my visit with exhibition dedicated to art and natural history.

After that, I saw temporary exhibition entitled ‘Memento Mori: Tombs and Memorials in Cheshire’ which is dedicated to gravestones and memorials in Cheshire. It presents several very interesting photos of various types of monuments including those which are currently located on the old Overleigh Cemetery in Chester. Next exhibition which I visited is dedicated to Deva Victrix (the legionary fortress) and finds discovered in its remains. I saw there several captivating artefacts including antefix roof tile with depiction of a wild boar which was a symbol of Legio XX Valeria Victrix (and which was also depicted in logotype of TAGDeva Conference) and gorgeous bird-shaped brooches. Above that I discovered interesting showcase in which are exhibited animal bones discovered in Deva. Among them are also several wings and feet bones of chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and woodcocks (genus Scolopax) which often foraged or were bred for meet (or eggs). It should be mentioned that bones of domestic poultry or wild water birds were not only discovered in remains of Roman fortress or town but there were also found on settlements or in graves in areas which border Roman Empire [see Gotfredsen, Bennike 2017].

Last exhibition which I saw in Grosvenor Museum is entitled ‘Dead Normal: Death in Everyday Life’ (see post on Archaeodeath blog concerning this exhibition). This fabulous exhibition presents how is (or was) people attitude to death in different cultures. At ‘Dead Normal’ exhibition are presented not only object directly associated with deceased (e.g. urns, coffins) but also grave goods (ushabti from Ancient Egypt, weaponry from Viking Age grave) and object which in many cultures are connected with death (e.g. scythe, skulls or Mexican calaveras). However for me, as archaeology PhD student interested in human-animal relations in the past, the most interesting part of this exhibition was showcase dedicated especially to animals which are in many cultures seen as symbols (and harbingers) of death. In it are presented two specimens of death’s-head hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos) well-known from Thomas Harris novel and film ‘the Silence of the Lambs‘ and one stuffed carrion crow (Corvus corone corone). According to the description of showcase those airborne animals were connected with death due to their appearance, behaviour and horrific sounds which they make.

Literature

Gotfredsen A. B., Bennike P. (eds.) 2017: Wealth and Prestige 2 – Animal Sacrifices and Deposits in Inhumation Graves of the Roman Iron Age in Zealand and Funen, Eastern Denmark, Kroppedal.

In Chester

In December (14-20 December 2018) I visited Chester (England). Aim of my visit in this gorgeous place was to take a part in the 40th Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference at University of Chester (17-19 December 2018). During this captivating event I hosted session ‘Beasts, Birds and Other Fauna: Animals and Their Meaning in the Early Middle Ages‘ on human-animal relations in the Early Medieval Period and I also presented paper ‘Through Fire to the Otherworld: Viking Age Cremation Graves with Bird Remains‘. Before this captivating event I decided to see wonderful old part of Chester, Grosvenor Museum and Chester Zoo.

Fight to Liverpool, 14 December 2018

On this day, I had my first every flight to England. During descent of plane I saw wonderful and breathtaking landscape of western England. From the plane I observed endless fields, brown hills, Clwydian Range surrounded by clouds, Rivers Mersey and Dee shining like a fine gold and industrial landscape of Liverpool.

Day 2, 15 December 2018

On this day, I visited churchyard near the Parish Church of the Holy Ascension and old part of Chester. Visiting cemeteries (or churchyards) during visits in western and northern Europe is my small tradition which I started on 16th March 2016 in Århus (Denmark). During my visit in Århus, connected with my participation in the 9th Aarhus Student Symposium on Viking and Medieval Scandinavian Subjects, I accidentally came across Nordre Cemetery (Nordre Kirkegård). It should be mentioned that before my trip I read with interest fascinating posts by Professor Howard Williams on Archaeodeath blog concerning depictions of birds (and winged beings) in ornaments of gravestones and presence of birds on various modern cemeteries (see Cemetery Ornithology 1, Graves as Aviary: Cemetery Ornithology 2Finnish Angels of Death: Cemetery Ornithology 3, Cross Prevarication – Cemetery Ornithology 4). Standing in front of gates of Nordre Cemetery and inspired by above-mentioned post I decided to see this area and its architecture. I was really curious that depictions of birds are only limited to Finish cemeteries and I really would like to check that are any sculptures of birds (or other ornaments) in gravestones on this cemetery. During my visit I photographed several very interesting sculptures of birds (e.g. doves, owl). I also had interesting conversation with Lady who explained me why Danish often placed birds on gravestones. My visit on this cemetery allowed me to acknowledge with modern Danish funerary practices. I observed that this Danish cemetery resembling more green park than place of rest of deceased. Since this accidentally visit on Nordre Cemetery, I found numerous bird depictions in gravestones on (chronologically): the Haddeby Cemetery (Haddeby Friedhof) in Schleswig (Germany), St. John’s Churchyard (St Johannes kyrkogård) in Stockholm (Sweden), Galley Shipyard Cemetery (Galärvarvskyrkogården) in Stockholm (Sweden), Northern Cemetery (Nordfriedhof) in Kiel (Germany), Holm Cemetery (Friedhof der Holmer Beliebung) in Schleswig (Germany), Assistens Cemetery (Assistens Kirkegård) in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Galley Shipyard Cemetery (Galärvarvskyrkogården) in Stockholm (Sweden).

Get back to the main subject, during my visit in Chester I would like to see one of the cemetery (churchyards) and monuments which are located there. Unfortunately, I had not enough time to see beautiful old Overleigh Cemetery or Chester Blacon Cemetery. I decided to visit churchyard near Parish Church of the Holy Ascension which I accidentally discovered during my evening walk on 14th December. I saw there grave monuments in the shape of old-looking ornamental Celtic crosses (which are in my opinion typical for this part of Europe) and standing simple Latin crosses (some of them bear inscriptions in English or plant ornaments). However I also discovered numerous gravestones on cremation graves which were decorated with bird-shaped sculptures (or bas-reliefs). Near some gravestones were also placed figurines in shapes of various animals (i.e. birds, cats, deer and even meerkat). These decorations (or ‘gifts’) reminds me those which I saw on Danish, German or Swedish cemeteries. General architecture of churchyard (e.g. small graves, gravestones placed in rows) was also close to these known to me from cemeteries which I visited previously in northern and western Europe. Above that I observed there several species of birds (e.g. European robin [Erithacus rubecula], common blackbird [Turdus merula], common wood pigeon [Columba palumbus]) filing among branches and monuments.

After my visit on churchyard by the Holy Ascension Church I went to Parkgate Road Campus of University of Chester to see venue of the conference. From this place I head for old part of Chester. I started my visit in this part of city from seeing beautiful Chester Rows and Eastgate and Eastgate Clock.

Despite the pouring and windy weather I decided to continue sightseeing of Chester. After seeing Chester Christmas Market, I moved towards Grosvenor Museum where I spent next hours. My visit in this museum is discussed in next post. After my visit in museum, I visited Chester Cathedral Falconry and Nature Gardens. Right near Cathedral there is a place in which several species of birds of prey trained in falconry are keep. The majority of birds presented there are not native to Europe. There are kept only two European species peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) which I know from my research on meaning of birds in Viking Age funerary practices. Bones of these bird species were found in several very interesting cremation graves from Northern Germany and Sweden.

Final part of my sightseeing of Chester I devoted to seeing and photographing wonderful Chester Cathedral. I started from walking around this Cathedral and observing external architectural details of this building. After that, I went inside Chester Cathedral. It it outstanding example of English Gothic architecture with features typical to this style (e.g. naves with decorative lierne rib vaults, monastic buildings connected with church). I was impressed with its form, various architectural details and extreme beauty of different types of vaults.

I Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

On 18th November 2018, I visited wonderful Swedish Museum of Natural History. I walked there through beautiful and autumnal Norra Djurgården. I saw there wonderful exhibition with numerous fascinating specimens of birds (and other animals), exhibitions concerning biodiversity, polar regions, evolution, geology and amazing multimedial exhibition ‘the Human Animal’. I was impressed by all of them. It was wonderful time which I spent there.

Collection of Axel Klinckowström

Exhibition ‘Diversity of Life’

Exhibition ‘Polar Regions’

Exhibition ‘Fossils and Evolution’

Exhibition ‘Swedish Nature’

Exhibition ‘Treasures from the Earth’s interior’

I Stockholms tunnelbana

In November, I had possibility to visit gorgeous city Stockholm. I spent there fifteen wonderful days (9-23rd November 2018) analysing meaning of birds in the Viking Age. From 11 to 17 November I realised my short-term project entitled ‘Eggs and Bones: Bird Remains in Viking Age Cremation Graves from Sweden’ which was generously supported by the Viking Society for Northern Research. During one week (11-17 November 2018) I worked in Swedish History Museum and archives of the Swedish National Heritage Board where I analysed various artefacts and bird bones from Viking Age cremation graves as well reports from excavation on sites from Uppland and Södermanland on which were discovered burnt and unburnt bones of birds in funerary contexts. It was fantastic examine and describe captivating finds from the Viking Age. I would like to thank the Viking Society for Northern Research for for their generous financial support. From 19 to 22 November I studied reports from excavations concerning various Swedish Viking Age sites. In my free time I had also possibility to visit several fascinating museums and locations in Stockholm.

Metro stations in Stockholm are famous of their unique look. They are often called a underground gallery of art. During my stay in Stockholm, I had possibility to visit some of the most beautiful. More info concerning art in Stockholm metro are on a website of VisitStockholm.

In 2017 I taken photos on two underground stations. They are presented in the gallery ‘I Stockholm‘.

I Stockholms tunnelbana, 18.11.2018

Tekniska Högskolan

Östermalmstorg

I Stockholms tunnelbana, 19.11.2018

Stadion

I Stockholms tunnelbana, 22.11.2018

Kungsträdgården

Rådhuset

Rådhuset is definitely my favourite Stockholm underground station to photograph. I really like its dark red walls and dark floors.

T-Centralen

I Statens Historiska Museet igen

In November, I had possibility to visit gorgeous city Stockholm. I spent there fifteen wonderful days (9-23rd November 2018) analysing meaning of birds in the Viking Age. From 11 to 17 November I realised my short-term project entitled ‘Eggs and Bones: Bird Remains in Viking Age Cremation Graves from Sweden’ which was generously supported by the Viking Society for Northern Research. During one week (11-17 November 2018) I worked in the Swedish History Museum and archives of the Swedish National Heritage Board where I analysed various artefacts and bird bones from Viking Age cremation graves as well reports from excavation on sites from Uppland and Södermanland on which were discovered burnt and unburnt bones of birds in funerary contexts. It was fantastic examine and describe captivating finds from the Viking Age. I would like to thank the Viking Society for Northern Research for for their generous financial support. From 19 to 22 November I studied reports from excavations concerning various Swedish Viking Age sites. In my free time I had also possibility to visit several fascinating museums and locations in Stockholm.

During my stay in Stockholm I visited several times exhibitions in my favourite Swedish History Museum (11 November, 17 November, 21 November and 22 November 2018). I visited there mainly exhibition concerning Viking Age and Prehistory. However, on 22 November I decided to visit interesting and well designed exhibitions on history of Sweden, medieval period and reception of the past. I really like the last of the above mentioned exhibition on which is presented costume of valkyrie from Richard Wagner’s opera entitled ‘Die Walküre’ from ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ cycle. On this day I also visited fascinating exhibition concerning Viking Age. On it are presented artefact and bones from two graves which are crucial for my project concerning meaning of birds in Viking Age cremation rituals: mound named ‘Skopintull’ (Hovgården, Adelsö) and Grave 59:3 (Klinta, Öland).

Photos from my visits in the Swedish History Museum in 2017 are in the gallery ‘I Statens Historiska Museet‘.

In the Swedish History Museum, 11.11.2018

Viking Age

 

In the Swedish History Museum, 17.11.2018

Vendel Period

Viking Age

Mound 1 named ‘Skopintull’ (Hovården, Adelsö, Ekerö Municipality, Uppsala Country)

Mound 1 named ‘Skopintull’ was a very complex and rich double cremation grave in which were found numerous elaborate artefacts and animal bones (domesticated mammals, birds). It was located in Hovgården on isle named Adelsön (Uppland, Sweden). This fascinating grave is a very important in my research concerning meaning of birds in Viking Age mortuary practices. It is one of the several cremation graves in which were discovered several different species of birds and unburnt egg of a bird.

 

I Stockholms museerna igen

In November, I had possibility to visit gorgeous city Stockholm. I spent there fifteen wonderful days (9-23rd November 2018) analysing meaning of birds in the Viking Age. From 11 to 17 November I realised my short-term project entitled ‘Eggs and Bones: Bird Remains in Viking Age Cremation Graves from Sweden’ which was generously supported by the Viking Society for Northern Research. During one week (11-17 November 2018) I worked in Swedish History Museum and archives of the Swedish National Heritage Board where I analysed various artefacts and bird bones from Viking Age cremation graves as well reports from excavation on sites from Uppland and Södermanland on which were discovered burnt and unburnt bones of birds in funerary contexts. It was fantastic examine and describe captivating finds from the Viking Age. I would like to thank the Viking Society for Northern Research for for their generous financial support. From 19 to 22 November I studied reports from excavations concerning various Swedish Viking Age sites. In my free time I had also possibility to visit several fascinating museums and locations in Stockholm. On 10th November 2018 I visited the National Museum of Fine Arts and Nobel Museum.

In the National Museum of Fine Arts (Nationalmuseum)

In the National Museum of Fine Arts I saw there ‘Valkyrior ridande till strid, n.d.’ by Johan Gustaf Sandberg, small illustration ‘Prinsessan och trollen (En kväll vid midsommartid gingo de med Bianca Maria djupt in i skogen)’ manufactured by my favourite Swedish artist John Bauer, monumental painting ‘Midvinterblot’ by Carl Larsson and other wonderful artworks. Unfortunately painting ‘Tors strid med jättarna’ by Mårten Eskil Winge, which I really would like to see, was not presented in the exhibition. What is interesting in one room is located exhibition devoted to the various elaborate pots from 18th and 19th centuries. On it are also presented vessels covered with ornaments inspired by a Viking Age art and Icelandic sagas.

In the Nobel Museum (Nobelmuseet)

See also gallery ‘I Stockholms museerna‘ in which are presented photos which I took in museums in Stockholm in 2017.

I höstlig Stockholm

In November, I had possibility to visit gorgeous city Stockholm. I spent there fifteen wonderful days (9-23rd November 2018) analysing meaning of birds in the Viking Age. From 11 to 17 November I realised my short-term project entitled ‘Eggs and Bones: Bird Remains in Viking Age Cremation Graves from Sweden’ which was generously supported by the Viking Society for Northern Research. During one week (11-17 November 2018) I worked in Swedish History Museum and archives of the Swedish National Heritage Board where I analysed various artefacts and bird bones from Viking Age cremation graves as well reports from excavation on sites from Uppland and Södermanland on which were discovered burnt and unburnt bones of birds in funerary contexts. It was fantastic examine and describe captivating finds from the Viking Age. I would like to thank the Viking Society for Northern Research for for their generous financial support. From 19 to 22 November I studied reports from excavations concerning various Swedish Viking Age sites. In my free time I had also possibility to visit several fascinating museums and locations in Stockholm.

This was my second visit in Stockholm. Photos from my first ever visit in Stockholm and Sweden are presented in the gallery ‘I Stockholm‘.

Flight to Sweden, 9.11.2018

Day 2, 10.11.2018

On 10 November 2018 in foggy and rainy morning I visited two nice isles of Stockholm – Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen. I saw there harbours, neighbourhood of the Museum of Modern Art and gorgeous Kastellet. Later I went to the new opened National Museum of Fine Arts. Later afternoon I visited Gamla stan. It was cool and rainy then. I spent there nearly two hours walking narrow and colourful streets. Gamla stan is one of my favourite parts of Stockholm. I really like to walk and look at facades in warm colours.

Day 3, 11.11.2018

On 11 November 2018 I saw nice Stockholm City Hall. I found there captivating sculpture depicting imprisoned Loki. It is entitled ‘Lokes straff’ and was manufactured by artist Ida Matton. Later, I moved to the Swedish History Museum to study artefact from very rich equipped Viking Age cremation graves which are presented on exhibition concerning Viking Age.

Day 10, 18.11.2018

On this day I decided to visit Swedish Museum of Natural History. I walk there through Norra Djurgården – beautiful green area of Stockholm.

Day 11, 19.11.2018

On 19th November 2018 I visited several amazing underground stations. Later I photographed glass obelisk ‘Kristallvertikalaccent’ manufactured by Edvin Öhrström.

Day 14, 22.11.2018

22nd November 2018 was my penultimate day of my stay in Stockholm. On this day I photographed several interesting underground stations. Later I visited again gorgeous Gamla stan.

 

In Silesian Zoological Garden