Thursday, December 29, 2005

A place with a past

There is no untouched wilderness. For ages, people have been messing around with every spot of dry land on Earth and sinking artefacts and anthropogenic sediment over much of its ocean floors. More recently, we've sojourned at a number of scenic spots on the Moon, dropped quite a bit of gear on neighbouring planets, made tracks and drilled into rocks.

Archaeology is everywhere on Earth. But in modern urban areas, it's easy to get the impression that there is no past before the landscape of today.

The 70s housing project where I live, Fisksätra, is one of those places. Almost every single building here is the same age, indeed, uniformly designed by the same architects. There are very few clues left to what the place was like until the 60s: an old summer villa near the seashore and a number of large oak trees. It's pretty much as if the modern layout had been dropped from orbit, obliterating the past.

But in the archives there is quite a bit of documentation, and on the margins of the developed area a few archaeological traces can still be seen. Fisksätra used to be a poor tenant farm, inhabited since at least the 16th century by fisher/farmer families. The name is even older, and pagan graves show that the people of a nearby farmstead had an interest in the place in the 10th century or even earlier.

I recently published a paper about the forgotten past of Fisksätra in the municipality's annual Nackaboken. Read it here in Swedish.

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Anonymous Monica Sahlin said...

Skoj! Det där minns jag från din föreläsning på biblioteket! Ska läsa alltihop igen och friska upp minnet lite grann!

29 December, 2005 23:36  
Blogger Steve Muhlberger said...

A good contribution, and the carnival itself is a great success

19 July, 2007 21:03  
Blogger Martin said...

Thanks man!

19 July, 2007 21:16  

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