On Fløyen

From 4th to 15th April 2019, I visited beautifully located Bergen in western Norway. Aim of my visit was to measure, describe and photograph various fascinating artefacts and bird bones which were discovered in five Viking Age cremation graves. Between 8th and 12th April in the wonderful University Museum of Bergen I examined and documented over 30 finds (e.g. jewellery, weaponry, smith tools). Fascinating information, which I collected during my very fruitful research stay in Bergen, will be published in the nearest future.

Beyond work in the University Museum of Bergen, I also had the possibility to see gorgeous architecture and wonderful mossy forests in Bergen. From 5th to 7th and 13th to 14th April I visited old part of Bergen and museums, I ascended mount Fløyen and I saw stave church in Fantoft and beautiful deep Puddefjorden.

On Fløyen

On 14th April, I decided to ascend mount Fløyen which is one of the Seven Mountains (De syv fjell) surrounding Bergen. In the morning, in the nice company of Albane, I started my hike from the north-western side of Fløyen.

When we were approached top of this mountain we saw a mossy forest. In it I saw a big statue of troll and a small cabin. In the event, this cabin was not an empty shelter for tourists (or wooden cabin for children) but it was occupied by two cheerful trolls who wearing folk costumes and holding Norwegian flags. Later, I saw that there are more lovably amusing wooden figures of trolls hiding between trees in this forest. Furthermore, faces of these beings are painted on stones. After photographing all sculptures of trolls, I walked to the edge of the slope to see and admire wonderful Bergen from above.

Later, we walked through the forest to the north-west. Then, I saw extremely beautiful old trees covered with mosses and lichen. They looked incredible and marvellous in sunlight. This mossy forest full of old conifers is my favourite type of forest. In my opinion, it is gorgeous and mysterious but also terrifying (especially in mist). Moreover, conifer forests remind me of my childhood when, especially during summertime, I spent time walking among high pines and collecting various fungi.

We finished our hike by a nice glacial lake. I observed there several species of birds including common gull (Larus canus). All observations, which I did during my research stay in Bergen, were uploaded to eBird database.

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In Fantoft

From 4th to 15th April 2019, I visited beautifully located Bergen in western Norway. Aim of my visit was to measure, describe and photograph various fascinating artefacts and bird bones which were discovered in five Viking Age cremation graves. Between 8th and 12th April in the wonderful University Museum of Bergen I examined and documented over 30 finds (e.g. jewellery, weaponry, smith tools). Fascinating information, which I collected during my very fruitful research stay in Bergen, will be published in the nearest future.

Beyond work in the University Museum of Bergen, I also had the possibility to see gorgeous architecture and wonderful mossy forests in Bergen. From 5th to 7th and 13th to 14th April I visited old part of Bergen and museums, I ascended mount Fløyen and I saw stave church in Fantoft and beautiful deep Puddefjorden.

In Fantoft

In the morning of 13th April, I decided to visit stave church in Fantoft located in Fana borough of Bergen. From railway station Fantoft I walked the road between houses till the forest. Then I saw numerous old trees with mossy roots and rocks covered with lichen. I climbed to the hill and the rock. Then behind branches emerged brown towering stave church.

Stave church in Fantoft is located on a hill and surrounded by old forest and stone constructions. First and original stave church was moved from Fortun to Fantoft in 1883. Unfortunately in 1992 was burnt by arson connected with early Norwegian black metal scene. The current form of the stave church in Fantoft we owed to 20th-century architect Egil O. Laastad who designed it and two architects J. L. Andersen and K. H. Irgens who conducted construction works. Its plan, interior and roofs topped with beautifully sculptured dragon-heads were based on decorations of various late Viking Age stave churches from Norway.

In Museums and Aquarium of Bergen

From 4th to 15th April 2019, I visited beautifully located Bergen in western Norway. Aim of my visit was to measure, describe and photograph various fascinating artefacts and bird bones which were discovered in five Viking Age cremation graves. Between 8th and 12th April in the wonderful University Museum of Bergen I examined and documented over 30 finds (e.g. jewellery, weaponry, smith tools). Fascinating information, which I collected during my very fruitful research stay in Bergen, will be published in the nearest future.

Beyond work in the University Museum of Bergen, I also had the possibility to see gorgeous architecture and wonderful mossy forests in Bergen. From 5th to 7th and 13th to 14th April I visited old part of Bergen and museums, I ascended mount Fløyen and I saw stave church in Fantoft and beautiful deep Puddefjorden.

In the University Museum of Bergen, 5.04.2019

In the University Museum of Bergen, I saw inter alia nice exhibition dedicated to the Viking Age. At this exhibition are presented different artefacts (e.g. jewellery, weaponry) which were robbed on 14th August 2017 and retrieved in October. At the exhibition are also presented interesting short films: first concerning burglary and second presenting the biography of the penannular brooch (B17164).

In the Bergen Aquarium, 6.04.2019

Bergen Aquarium is not only place where can be seen different species of animals living in water but also various small and average terrestrial animals. Near the entrance to the Aquarium are places where charming gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) and clever sea lions are kept. In the big pavilion are kept insects, spiders, amphibians and reptiles from different parts of the world.

In the KODE 3, 7.04.2019

In the KODE 4, 7.04.2019

In Bergen

From 4th to 15th April 2019, I visited beautifully located Bergen in western Norway. Aim of my visit was to measure, describe and photograph various fascinating artefacts and bird bones which were discovered in five Viking Age cremation graves. Between 8th and 12th April in the wonderful University Museum of Bergen I examined and documented over 30 finds (e.g. jewellery, weaponry, smith tools). Fascinating information, which I collected during my very fruitful research stay in Bergen, will be published in the nearest future.

Beyond work in the University Museum of Bergen, I also had the possibility to see gorgeous architecture and wonderful mossy forests in Bergen. From 5th to 7th and 13th to 14th April I visited old part of Bergen and museums, I ascended mount Fløyen and I saw stave church in Fantoft and beautiful deep Puddefjorden.

Travel to Bergen, 4.04.2019

On 4th April, I started my travel to the far North. When we flew over south-western Sweden I saw beautiful endless mountain ranges, peaks and lakes of western Norway. I flew above snow-covered mountains which were separated by irregular fjords. I saw icebound glacial lakes surrounded by high peaks. Furthermore, I admired mighty grey-white glaciers slowly crushing rocks. Later, I saw multicoloured wooden houses located between steep mountainsides and long fjords. Then, I saw also numerous skerries surrounded by the dark blue water of fjords. I was (and I am still) enraptured with these marvellous and mysterious Norwegian landscapes (as I was enraptured with Stockholm archipelago bathed in the rising sun which I saw during my flight in 2017). In my opinion, snow-covered and frost-bound mountainous Norway cut by numerous deep fjords seems to be severe but for me is extremely gorgeous. I dream to explore (and even to snowboard) snowy mountains of Norway.

When I left my plane, I felt and breathed the cold pure mountain air. It was an unforgettable experience to be in Norway for the first time ever.

Day 2, 5.04.2019

This day I devoted to sightseeing of well-know parts of Bergen and the University Museum of Bergen.

I started my walk from the Sailor’s Monument (Norwegian: Sjømannsmonumentet) was manufactured by Dyre Vaa in 1939-45. Its every side is dedicated to sailors and explorers from different historical periods. In the one side of this monument is placed bas-relief with the depiction of Viking Age longship sailing under a starry sky. Above that this side of the Sailor’s Monument is ‘guarded’ by three armed warriors in costumes stylised to Viking Age cloths. In my opinion, this monument is an interesting example of the commemoration of historical events and 20th-century reception of the Viking period.

Later, I walk to famous Bryggen (known also as Tyskebryggen), UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, which is located by the harbour of Bergen. It consists of several rows of colourful wooden houses. In the time of Hanseatic League, these buildings served as storehouses for fish and cereal. Today in them can be found shops with souvenirs, art galleries and restaurants. Between buildings are located narrow streets covered with wooden planks. I really enjoyed my walk among beautiful multicoloured wooden buildings of Bryggen.

After my visit to Bryggen, I walked to see the neighbourhood of the Bryggens Museum (which was closed due to maintenance) and St Mary’s Church. I found there nice monument of historian and poet Snorri Sturluson. The original sculpture was manufactured by Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland and it was placed in Reykholt (Iceland) in 1947. In 1948, in front of St Mary’s Church in Bergen was erected copy of Vigeland’s sculpture.

Next, I saw Bergen Cathedral and walked up beautiful Skivebakken street to see Bergen from above.

Later, I visited the old cemetery in Bergen (Assistentkirkegården). It is quite small and surrounded by old trees covered by mosses and lichens. At the time of my visit nearly whole area of the cemetery was covered with purple, white and yellow flowers (mainly crocuses) and green grass. There were also several species of birds flying and happily chirping. These multicoloured plants and singing birds full of life and joy contrasted to old silent stone grave monuments commemorating the dead.

After my visit to the cemetery, I saw several nice streets with wonderful wooden buildings.

I finished this day sightseeing of Bergen in the University Museum of Bergen when I saw fascinating exhibitions concerning the Prehistory and Viking Age.

Day 3, 6.04.2019

On this day, I saw several beautiful streets of Bergen. I also visited a nice Bergen Aquarium.

Kjellersmauet is street with colourful houses. It is interesting for me not only because of its beautiful architecture but also due to its history related to Norwegian black metal. In this place, photographer Peter Beste took a well-known photo of Einar Selvik (then a member of band Gorgoroth) in corpsepaint.

Later, I walked along Knøsesmauet and Strangebakken streets.

Before I visited Bergen Aquarium, I saw wonderful fjord and nice Pacific totem pole. This sculpture was manufactured by Duane Pasco. It is a gift from people of Seattle to inhabitants of Bergen.

Day 4, 7.04.2019

I spent this day admiring works of Norwegian painters in the art galleries KODE 3 and KODE 4. In the afternoon, I visited again Bryggen and saw wonderful Håkon’s Hall.

On the wall of building at Nikolaikirkeallmenningen street (part of Bryggen) is painted a cute Norwegian troll presenting a collection of cheese knives. This adorable painting manufactured by Skurk is entitled ‘Traditional Hustler’ (see also a description of this artwork on blog Streetart in Bergen). Trolls are supernatural beings which appeared in the old Norse written sources and later in Scandinavian folklore. They were topic of the new interesting book ‘Trolle: Ihre Geschichte von der nordischen Mythologie bis zum Internet’ by Rudolf Simek which was published in 2018. It should be also mentioned that cheese slicers (Norwegian: ostehøvel), same as are presented by the troll, were designed by Norwegian inventor and businessmen Thor Bjørklund. Currently, these tools, in different colours and covered with various ornaments, can be found in every shop with souvenirs in Bergen.

Håkon’s Hall (Håkonshalle) is a beautiful building raised in Gothic style by Norwegian king Håkon Håkonsson between 1247 and 1261. This majestic building, with a turbulent history, is part of Bergenhus Fortress (Bergenhus festning). It consists of big basements, several rooms and a wonderful great hall. The great hall is truly marvellous. It has big windows with lancet arches and beautiful wooden vault. Furthermore, its walls are covered by several tapestries. At the time of my visit, the great hall was filled with magic music by Wardruna and Einar Selvik. It was an amazing experience to spend an afternoon in this extremely beautiful building!

Day 10, 13.04.2019

In the morning, I visited the beautifully located stave church in Fantoft. On the way back to Bergen, I accidentally discovered huge cemetery in the district named Møllendal. Every time when I am in Scandinavian country, Germany or England I visit local cemetery to see how people were commemorated there. I also try to document interesting grave monuments, in particular, these with depictions of birds (or other animals). I discussed my previous cemetery wanderings in my post concerning a visit in Chester (see post ‘In Chester‘).

Cemetery in Møllendal is located near the harbour of bay Store Lungegårdsvannet. It is the biggest cemetery in Bergen and one of the oldest. The whole area of the cemetery is full of greenery (e.g. numerous species of trees) and various species of birds. From the place, where the cemetery is located, is a wonderful view over Ulriken highest of the Seven Mountains (de syv fjell) surrounding Bergen. The cemetery was divided into several parts in which all graves are placed in parallel rows. Grave monuments are very diversified. Some of them are standing simple gravestones (or stone crosses), some are very elaborate tridimensional sculpture (e.g. sculpture of two roe deer). During my visit, I observed that in a big number of gravestones are bas-reliefs in the form of flying birds (e.g. geese) and empty nests or on the top of them were placed small figurines of birds (in majority doves or small passerines). These figurines are looking at each other (if they are in a pair) or at the grave (or at the sky). On some of them are located two or even three figurines of birds. Some gravestones were decorated with bird-shaped bas-relief and single figurine of for instance dove. A number of bird ornaments in this cemetery is quite extraordinary! In several cemeteries, which I visited, figurines of Aves are in minority and they were only placed on (or by) several gravestones. In the case of Møllendal cemetery, nearly every fifth grave has bird ornament! Furthermore, on some graves figurines of mammals (e.g. dogs) accompanied bird-ornaments. It was interesting to observe that bird-shaped decorations are important for local people in remembrance of their dead probably symbolising eternal love, afterlife, joy and the Holy Spirit.

During my visit to this beautiful cemetery, I had the luck to find a place where the grave of Norwegian archaeologist Haakon Shetelig is located. When I found this location I saw a modest grave slab, surrounded by green mosses and grass, which was considerably damaged by water and wind. Inscription in gravestone was barely visible and moss-grown. Thanks to very good light I read the name and surname of this researcher. I observed that this grave is the only grave in the row (and whole cemetery quarter) which was abandoned and not renovated for a long time.

It is sad that grave of the person who was (and still is) important for Norwegian science and culture  (e.g. his book ‘Vestlandske graver fra jernalderen’ is one of the mostly quoted Norwegian archaeological monographs) is in such condition. Is very sad that Haakon Shetelig, who was an archaeologist of outstanding merit, is not commemorated in a proper way.

In the evening, when I returned from Møllendal, I photographed the cute monument of His Majesty the Hedgehog (Hans Majestet Pinnsvinet) who is the high protector of the Bergen Student Society (Studentersamfunnet i Bergen).

Day 11, 14.04.2019

On 14 April, I ascended mount Fløyen. Photos, which I took during my hike, can be found in the gallery ‘On Fløyen‘.

Travel to Poland, 15.04.2019

In the morning, with a heavy heart, I said goodbye to the cold fjords, wooden houses and high mountains.

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 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 the 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. I also visited for the first time ever two beautiful Danish cities – Copenhagen and Roskilde. 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 the 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 the University of Kiel (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 a heavy heart and many wonderful memories.

November of 2018 was again (in the same month in 2017 I visited Stockholm for the first time) month dedicated to my visit to the Swedish History Museum. I spent a wonderful time in Stockholm not only examining bird bones from Viking Age cremation graves but also seeing the 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 the 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 the University of Chester in Chester. It was an incredible and unforgettable experience not only to conduct this session but also listen to 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!

In Chester Zoo

In December (14-20 December 2018), I visited Chester (England). Aim of my visit to this gorgeous place was to take part in the 40th Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference at the 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. I also presented the paper ‘Through Fire to the Otherworld: Viking Age Cremation Graves with Bird Remains‘. Before this captivating event, I decided to see the 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 the 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. It was a 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 the Grosvenor Museum

In December (14-20 December 2018), I visited Chester (England). Aim of my visit to this gorgeous place was to take part in the 40th Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference at the 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. I also presented the paper ‘Through Fire to the Otherworld: Viking Age Cremation Graves with Bird Remains‘. Before this captivating event, I decided to see the wonderful old part of Chester, Grosvenor Museum and Chester Zoo.

Exhibitions in the Grosvenor Museum

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

Later, I saw a 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 at it several captivating artefacts including antefix roof tile with the depiction of a wild boar which was a symbol of Legio XX Valeria Victrix (and which was also depicted in the logotype of TAGDeva Conference) and gorgeous bird-shaped brooches. Furthermore, I discovered an 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 meat (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).

The last exhibition which I saw in the 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 the dead (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, 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 the showcase, these 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 to this gorgeous place was to take part in the 40th Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference at the 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. I also presented the paper ‘Through Fire to the Otherworld: Viking Age Cremation Graves with Bird Remains‘. Before this captivating event, I decided to see the wonderful old part of Chester, Grosvenor Museum and Chester Zoo.

Fight to Liverpool, 14 December 2018

On this day, I had my first ever flight to England. During the descent of the plane, I saw the 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 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 to 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 the gates of Nordre Cemetery and inspired by above-mentioned posts, 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 an interesting conversation with Lady who explained to me why Danish often placed birds on gravestones. My visit to this cemetery allowed me to acknowledge with modern Danish funerary practices. I observed that this Danish cemetery resembling more green park than a place of rest of the 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 to 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. The 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. Furthermore, 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 the University of Chester to see the venue of the conference. From this place, I head for the old part of Chester. I started my visit in this part of the 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 to this museum is discussed in the next post. After my visit to the 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 the 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.

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

I Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

In November, I had the possibility to visit the gorgeous city Stockholm. I spent there fifteen wonderful days (9-23rd November 2018) analysing the 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 where I analysed various artefacts and bird bones from the Viking Age cremation graves. In the archives of the Swedish National Heritage Board, I also read reports from the excavations on sites from Uppland and Södermanland on which were discovered burnt and unburnt bones of birds in the funerary contexts. It was fantastic to examine and describe captivating finds from the Viking Age. I would like to thank the Viking Society for Northern Research for their generous financial support. From 19 to 22 November 2018, I studied reports from excavations concerning various Swedish Viking Age sites which were stored in the City Museum of Stockholm.

In my free time, I had also the possibility to visit several fascinating museums and locations in Stockholm.

On 18th November 2018, I visited the wonderful Swedish Museum of Natural History. I walked there through beautiful and autumnal Norra Djurgården. I saw a wonderful exhibition with numerous fascinating specimens of birds (and other animals), exhibitions concerning biodiversity, polar regions, evolution, geology and the amazing multimedia exhibition ‘the Human Animal’. I was impressed by all of them. It was a 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 the possibility to visit the gorgeous city Stockholm. I spent there fifteen wonderful days (9-23rd November 2018) analysing the 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 where I analysed various artefacts and bird bones from the Viking Age cremation graves. In the archives of the Swedish National Heritage Board, I also read reports from the excavations on sites from Uppland and Södermanland on which were discovered burnt and unburnt bones of birds in the funerary contexts. It was fantastic to examine and describe captivating finds from the Viking Age. I would like to thank the Viking Society for Northern Research for their generous financial support. From 19 to 22 November 2018, I studied reports from excavations concerning various Swedish Viking Age sites which were stored in the City Museum of Stockholm.

In my free time, I had also the possibility to visit several fascinating museums and locations in Stockholm.

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

In 2017, I took photos in 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