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- Burning rock! Experiments with fire setting at the Stone Age Melsvik chert quarries in Northern Norway
- New paper on the unique Epipalaeolithic geometric rock art at el-Hosh, Upper Egypt
- Would you have liked to live here, at Kropfenstein medieval cave castle?
- An update after months of inactivity at my website
- The little-known archaeology of Gharb Aswan, Upper Egypt
- The old quarry that was reused as a beer brewery
- Stone extraction with pickaxes in Ancient Egypt: Fact or fiction?
- Ten quarries of Ancient Egypt: Series summary
- Ten quarries of Ancient Egypt: 10 – Firework!
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Recently I posted a preliminary report on our successful experiments with fire setting in the Melsvik Stone Age chert quarries in Northern Norway. For some curious reason German-speaking readers were not able to watch the attached video of the experiments, perhaps due to country-specific copyright infringements related to the music following the video. “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash is, sadly, obviously not for all! In this post there is a link to another version of the video, this time without good old Johnny. And there is more for my German-speaking readers; link to a recent article in Spiegel Online, based on my original story. The fire setting experiments were carried out within the Melsvik archaeological rescue project/excavations, headed by Anja Roth Niemi of the University Museum at Tromsø Continue reading
Burning rock! Experiments with fire setting at the Stone Age Melsvik chert quarries in Northern Norway
In the Melsvik Stone Age chert quarries near Alta in Northern Norway there are dozens of extraction marks that are difficult to explain by other ancient techniques than fire setting. Hence within the Melsvik archaeological project, run by the University Museum of Tromsø, last week we experimented with fire in order to substantiate that it actually formed an important method of breaking loose small and big pieces of stone. The idea was that it is not necessary with big fires and high temperatures, but that small, controlled “bonfires” are enough to create high shear stress and cracking. In this way high temperatures greatly reducing the quality of the chert for tool making are avoided. It works! Here’s a preliminary report with video. Continue reading
I’ve been busy over the last several months and so little has happened at the blog and website of my firm. A simple equation may provide a good explanation: Family and kids + professional responsibilities = no blogging! The first part of the equation ought to be pretty obvious. As regards the second part this is probably evident, too: Suddenly finding yourself confronted with deadlines and tenders!
So, I’ve been investigating, reporting, producing offers and writing for traditional scientific media instead of maintaining my blog. In due time, when more information on the projects can be released, I will provide details and – in particular – credit my clients, partners and editors. As for now, here’s an excerpt of finalised, ongoing and upcoming activities. Continue reading
Working with the Berne Minster Workshop on mapping the quarries used for the cathedral, I visited the Wabern quarry just outside the city centre yesterday. Though it is unclear to what extent it was employed for the cathedral in the Middle Ages, it is a most remarkable quarry: For it was reused as a brewery for “Gurten Beer” from the 1860s on. Since I have noted the link between stone extraction and beer drinking through history (see last part of this story), I thought I ought to post the photo above of a wonderful old horse cart with a beer barrel remaining in the quarries. Continue reading
When in Rome… What else can you do than to discuss Norwegian archaeology!? So we did, at the beginning of this week, 30+ archaeologists and scientists at a workshop within the Norwegian Research Council’s network programme “Cooperative Research” (NO: Forskning … Continue reading
There have been few new posts on my blog recently. But there is a very good reason for this apparent laziness, since I’m now writing a book about stone. Or, to be more correct, a book about the cultural history … Continue reading
There is still a lot of important archaeology to be found in Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia. One group of archaeological sites is hunting features, in particular the extremely widespread ancient game traps along no less than a 400 km … Continue reading
Over the last few weeks I’ve been back in Norway for projects on conservation of medieval castle ruins, as well as on provenance of medieval and more modern building stone. Here are some impressions!*
Stone to the northernmost of Europe’s great cathedrals was provided from no less than 50 different quarries across Norway and to some extent from elsewhere in Europe. But there are great differences between the medieval building period (11th to 14th … Continue reading
An agreement of cooperation has been signed with the Norwegian conservation company “Bakken & Magnussen AS” in Trondheim, Norway. The idea is to expand the competence of the conservation company with services related to conservation science and geoarchaeology. Bakken & … Continue reading