On Wednesday the project reached another intermediate goal, as my final seminar was successfully completed. Yay!
The final seminars are part of the PhD project supervision and quality control at the Department of archaeology and classical studies at Stockholm University. To secure that the students are on the right track and able to finish their theses within a set time, large parts of the final manuscript are presented to an external reviewer within a year before it is due to be completed. In my case the four main chapters of my monograph, concerning research history, investigations, results and new theories, were handed over for examination.
At the seminar, the reviewer provides his or her input and points of discussion, not unlike the final defense. However, this is particularly necessary in Sweden, because the PhD theses are actually printed and published before the defense. The final seminar is therefore a valuable opportunity to have input that can actually be used to adjust the thesis.
My external reviewer was dr. Carl-Gösta Ojala from Uppsala University, who did a fantastic job with constructive feedback on both the larger perspectives and some more detailed issues. In addition, my colleagues at the department were present and contributed some interesting questions in a general discussion after Carl-Gösta had concluded his remarks.
I found the seminar very rewarding, both in the sense that I got to discuss and clarify some issues of the thesis, and because of the general positive feedback and resulting sense of being on the right track. Thanks to everyone who participated and made it such a good experience!