Sunday, 8 November 2015

How many archaeologists am I? Part 3: Sweden

Buddha from Iron Age Helgö in Sweden

Interestingly, in Sweden I probably would not be a proper archaeologist, if I had only graduated in Sweden in the discipline of classical archaeology and ancient history (AKS, antikens kultur och samhälle in Swedish) in which I worked between September 2013 and May 2015 at the University of Stockholm. In order to run excavations in Sweden, an archaeologist has to have done an exam in excavation methods and passed training excavation. Not all students graduating in AKS necessarily do this in Sweden and this means they are not perceived as archaeologists in Sweden by law. Even if the field courses are run in classical archaeology, if one wants to work as archaeologist in Sweden after graduation, it may be advisable to attend the training in Nordic archaeology as well.

However, I am also an archaeologist in Sweden, since I am an archaeologist in Finland as an Archaeological Society of Finland member, have a Masters from Finland with exams of methodology, a seminar dig at a Late Neolithic settlement site I ended up writing my MA dissertation on and I did also run Iron Age excavations (in Nordic archaeology) as part of my degree in Finland. In addition, I have been validated as a field archaeologist in UK. I am three up.

Goldkammare in the Historiska Museet in Stockholm

What a difference week makes! Last Sunday I was a researcher, affiliated in three countries at three different universities without a proper salary and with a recent tally of unsuccessful funding applications with a very binary set of reviews. I managed to be at the same time an experienced scholar with a vision and potential to explore new things successfully and having absolutely no potential what so ever with a very average proposal reflecting the current state of research practices. Then, suddenly things came together, some of the positive reviewers apparently united in the same process, I got my grant and I am heading to Stockholm again – part-time with the 75% Swedish-style funding.

Nevertheless, it is quite clear that we actually did it together. I have synergy of my linked researcher, Karin Westin Tikkanen, whose research on ancient alphabets in Italy will feed into my assessment of multiculturality in central Italy whereas my data tables will help her. I have also little by little become one part of a network of multidisciplinary researchers interested in these identity related questions, with people with projects that have relevance in colonial situations and others. It feels good to have a glimpse what we may potentially achieve together.

Time for cake?

So I will be concentrating on Italy, but not forgetting Finland, which will be nearer again and where I have to get a next volume of the Monographs of the Archaeological Society of Finland sorted for online publication. Or Britain that will be my family home in the immediate future.

Next week: Italy. Volare...

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