A Night for Culture
“Culture is roughly anything that we do and that monkeys don’t”
Lord Raglan, British Aristocrat (1788-1855)
Well, it is certainly worth reflecting about this definition but I can’t help thinking that we are learning more and more about monkeys and realising that they are far closer to our human species than we would have cared to think 150 years ago. Of course Britain is still deeply into aristocrats, for better or for worse… but let’s not go into that for the moment. The good Lord gave his name to Raglan sleeves but we would hardly call him a fashionista. He lost his right arm in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and a coat was specially designed for him with diagonal sleeve tailoring so that he could more easily reach his sword with his left hand. You would have thought that he would have learned his lesson about swords… But clearly he didn’t, leading to him being held responsible, forty years later, for the disaster that was the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 and he died shortly afterwards of dysentery and “clinical depression”. Interestingly the Balaclava is also an item of clothing.
Kulturnatten is an annual event in Lund that grows more popular every year. The town buzzes with hundreds of activities all over the place. Perhaps I should say that I always refer to Lund as a town. Of course it has a cathedral and it is formally a city. But the word town has a nice warm feel to it whereas the word city has a harsh sound to it. Cities today are numbered in millions of inhabitants but towns have tens of thousands of people. Much more human. So for me Lund is a town, and a nice one! The first Kulturnatten that I experienced was ten years ago and it was a bitterly cold evening, but still people were out and about and there was music in the air – as well as the smell of chocolate from the small student chocolate manufacturer tucked away behind Widerbergs Kött. Sadly the chocolate place is no longer there but of course Widerbergs is.
In previous years on Kulturnatten we at SVS have opened up our offices in Skomakeregatan and attracted in ~400 visitors during the day, tempting people in with apples picked from the garden of Möllegården on the Science Village site. This year however we had new premises to welcome people to at Möllegården itself. Möllegården, the old miller’s house, has been beautifully renovated and is now an exhibition place for visitors to MAX IV, SVS and ESS. An added attraction is the wooden mill from ~1650 that had deteriorated badly but which is now also renovated and looks rather handsome, even prior to its sails being mounted next year when the special wood required has properly matured. The mill and the house are a pair and now will remain so.
The rebuilt wooden windmill seen beyond the edge of the renovated Möllegården house. Its sails will appear in the springtime… ready to grind the wheat from the neighbouring fields. No, that’s wishful thinking, the mill will not be made operational, although the millstones are still there.
To the side of the mill is a more modern device for harnessing the power of the wind, as well as the sun in this case, and that is the giraffe which generates enough electricity to serve the needs of the Möllegården building itself over the whole year. The giraffe is rated at 3kW but that is sufficient to boil an electric kettle – not for just 5 minutes but continuously for the whole year round! In the photograph below the construction work on ESS is visible in the distance.
The giraffe electrical generator at Möllegården.
This year Kulturnatten was held on September 17th and we were surprised (and gratified) that so many people had journeyed out to see us. We are 4.5 km from the cathedral so it’s not a ten minute walk and the number 20 bus doesn’t run at the weekends. However when we arrived at 10 o’clock in the morning there was already a queue at the door, perhaps attracted by the good weather. We tried to keep count of the number of visitors but that proved to be impossible so we each developed our own method of estimating. I did it by counting the cars (and the bicycles) in the car park at any one time and working from there. Ulrika and Maria did it by counting the people in the house and scaling it up. Remarkably, after consultation with our MAX IV colleagues, we converged on 800 visitors during the day. There is clearly quite a lot of interest to see what’s going on at Brunnshög.
One thing that I found particularly interesting was the archeology display of the site. Evidently this particular area was an important location even 6000 years ago, when a settlement was established on the elevated piece of land where the ESS is now being constructed. The archaeological findings of the extensive dig and their interpretation and analysis have progressed a lot. Only 50 metres to the west of Möllegården was an important burial place which was approached by a pathway from what is now Odarslövsvägen. This pathway, shown in the reconstruction below, appears to be lined up to the setting sun in midsummer. This burial place was clearly special since it contained only two or three graves, probably of eminent people in the community.
At any one time we had more than 30 bicycles outside and ~35 cars and there were even some hardy souls who walked (from nearby places…). This was the basis for our (very unscientific!) estimate of the overall numbers. 800 visitors!
Reconstructions: Henning Cedmar Brandstedt
The artefacts, shown below and gathered together from the work of Arkeologerna, from the Swedish national museum, attracted much interest and many questions and it was rather sobering to realise that we were now occupying a piece of this countryside that 6000 years ago others had called home. They had cultivated the land, herded animals and raised their families. In another 6000 years what will our ancestors think when they rediscover what we had built here? In the yellow-topped pots in the photograph are seeds that were found during the dig. These seeds are now being investigated in order to tease out their genome and perhaps even to see whether they will germinate today!
Harald Lindström has played a big part in facilitating the building of ESS and MAX IV at Brunnshög and up until recently he was a Board member of SVS. Here he is seen discussing the findings with our archaeologist Anna Broström.