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Ancient tomb found at 'Sweden's Stonehenge'

Ancient tomb found at 'Sweden's Stonehenge'

Published: 15 Oct 2012 09:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Oct 2012 09:55 GMT+02:00

Swedish archaeologists have unearthed what is presumed to be a dolmen, or a portal tomb, that is believed to be over 5,000 years old near the megalithic monument Ale’s stones in southern Sweden.

”The findings confirm what we have believed; that this has been a special place for a very long time,” said archaeologist Bengt Söderberg to news agency TT.

On Saturday, the first day of the dig, the scientists already had a hunch that they would find something on the site, expecting a Stone Age grave and a Bronze Age monument.

And since, the hunch has become stronger.

“Let me put it like this: it looks bloody good,” said archaeologist Björn Wallebom of the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) to local paper Skånskan.

Despite a few days of rain, the archaeologists have managed to uncover enough of the site to see that what they have found is like to be a dolmen, a type of megalithic tomb, most often consisting of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone.

“It doesn’t have to be a chieftain buried here, it could be a wealthy farmer,” said Söderberg to local paper Ystads Allehanda.

According to reports, the archaeologists have found what they believe is an imprint of the tomb, which must have consisted of very heavy rocks as the impression was solid.

“It was like cement at the bottom. It points to it being pressed down hard,” Wallebom told the paper.

The archaeologists have also found what they believe to be the wall imprints.

“The imprints are very clear. Our hypothesis has definitely become more likely. This dig has all the recognizable components,” said Wallebom.

While digging up the barrow, the archaeologists also found a flint scraper tool.

“It is a standard tool from the stone-and bronze age,” said Söderberg to Ystads Allehanda.

However, despite the importance of the find, this was just a preliminary dig and the shaft is to be filled up on Monday.

According to the experts, a full excavation would be necessary in order to get a full view of what is buried on the site.

And a new dig could be on the cards as the find to some extent rewrites the history of the place, according to Wallbom.

“That’s what makes this dig so interesting, its location near the Ale Stones. Everyone knows the Ale stones and now we can discern a pre-history and a different context,” said Wallbom to Skånskan.

The Ale's Stones (Ales stenar) is a megalithic monument sometimes referred to as "Sweden's Stonehenge" and located about 10 kilometres southeast of Ystad in Skåne overlooking the sea in southern Sweden.

The site consists of 59 large sandstone boulders weighing about 1.8-tonnes each and arranged in the shape of a 67-metre long ship.

According to Scanian folklore, a legendary king named King Ale lies buried there.

TT/Rebecca Martin

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The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

05:15 October 18, 2012 by alarik36
Ales stenar is probably an epitaphmonument after Scild, the first danish Shielding!

It would be even better if Time Team(Tidsresenärerna in Swedish or 'timetravellers') visited Uppåkra, which probably was old Lund, the main setting for the events in Beowulf! I have litterally sent messages to the whole staff at the BBC-serie Time team and some british newspapers.

A central place might have been found in the province of Skane, Sweden, in a place that used to belong to Denmark. In a landscape, or region called Skadiney in the 500 c, by the anglosaxons called Scedenige(in Beowulf) by laws of mutation. In the same way the danes and the anglians were called denes and engles. The anglo-saxons(Alfred the Great, 900c)called Skáney or Skane, as it is called nowadays, for Scóneg, also with a (soft?)g in the ending. The nordic ey probably was received by the anglo-saxons a soft g. Also Scedeland has a parallel as Skåne, Halland and Bornholm used to be called Skåneland. Nowadays it normally means just Skåne or Scania as it is called in Latin.

There are many connections to Beowulf. In the neigborhood to the nearby sacrificing-bog Gullakra there were tales about a hideous woman entity sometimes seen with a male compagnon. She was beheaded for the deeds she committed and was berried where three parishes meet. At Uppåkra has also been found 40 bent spearheads(500c) from north Germany. Similar ones have been described in Widsith after a fight with Ingeld. Please look at:

The cup is right after the middle of the page. A similar cup that is carried around and never put down is described in Beowulf, carried by queen Waltheow:

I suspect that this could be the cult and festivity-house Heorot. What was unusual about this house was not it´s length, but it´s height. It was probably at least 12 m high, a scyscraper for that time..The name Heorot could have something to do with Uppåkras background as sun-worshipping place. A sun-deer is portrayed in the old-norse verses of Sólarljód.

Most legends are not simply made up, they build on something.

Yours sincerely,

Hakan Liljeberg

Lund, Sweden

PS Maybe I shouldn´t mention that the necklace(dated to 600c.) called Brosingamene in B and Brisingamen in the Edda, has been found in Möne, Götaland/Geatland already in the 1860:ies, but since historical research has been politically directed towards Stockholm/Uppsala and the Mälarvalley since the 16th c, all the finds from other areas are treated with 3:rd degree interest. Help us give this international attention. Heorot has been found, but nobody seems to care, or dares to care..(Just google on Möne, collar, necklace etc.) DS
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