Places We Can’t Wait to Visit: Part 2
Mike listed some great places in part 1!
Now I want to list the exciting archaeological sites for part 2!
The King’s Grave
The site is located near Kivik in the province of Skåne. These are the remains of a Nordic Bronze Age double burial c. 1000 BC. The cists (small stone-built coffin-like boxes or ossuaries in which they would place the remains) are adorned with petroglyphs. The images carved into the stones depict people, animals, ships, lurs being played, symbols, and a chariot drawn by two horses and having four-spoked wheels. It has been named the King’s Grave due to its size and long before it was known to contain two burials.
Ale’s Stones is a megalithic monument in Scania. It consists of a stone ship 67 meters long formed by 59 large boulders of sandstone, weighing up to 1.8 tonnes each. According to Scanian folklore, a legendary king called King Ale lies buried there. Six of the seven dating results have dated the material to be about 1,400 years old. This would place its creation towards the end of the Nordic Iron Age.
Borgeby Castle is located in Lomma Municipality, Scania aside the Kävlingeån, the largest river in Scania. The castle is built on the site of an 11th-century castle or fortress. Construction must have been in several phases with two separate ditches. The buildings on the site burned down during the Viking Age and have been changed over the centuries. The castle was burned in 1452 by the Swedes and in 1658 by the Danes. Excavation findings also suggest it being burnt in the 16th century though there is nothing to be found in the records. This may have been during the farmers’ revolt of 1525. Several Danish and Swedish aristocratic families have resided in the castle since the Reformation. Now it is a museum for the paintings of the artist Ernst Nordlind, whose father-in-law acquired the castle in 1886 at an auction.
Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, Sweden, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.
Anundshög is a tumulus near Västerås in Västmanland, the largest in Sweden. It has a diameter of 60 metres (200 ft) and is about 9 metres (30 ft) high. Assessments of the era of the mound vary between the Bronze Age and the late Iron Age. A fireplace under it has been dated to sometime between AD 210 and 540. Some historians have associated the mound with the legendary King Anund, while others regard this as speculative. It is purported also that the name is taken from the large runestone at the site, (Vs 13) the central stone in a row of 15 alongside the mound, re-erected in the 1960s and apparently marking out the route of the Eriksgata. The inscription on the runestone reads:
“Folkvid raised all of these stones after his son Heden, Anund’s brother. Vred carved the runes.”
During the Viking Age, Birka (located on the island of Björkö) was an important trading center which handled goods from Scandinavia as well as Central and Eastern Europe and the Orient. The archaeological sites of Birka and Hovgården (located on the neighboring island Adelsö) make up an archaeological complex which illustrates the elaborate trading networks of Viking Scandinavia and their influence on the subsequent history of Europe. Generally regarded as Sweden’s oldest town, Birka (along with Hovgården) has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.
There are so many other sites we are excited to see! If you haven’t yet, scroll down to read Mike’s part 1.