Disappointments and joys among ancient monuments and sites!

As I wrote in my previous post I visited another grave field with Iron Age dolmen last Friday. I am sad to say that this grave field has been damaged in the process of reforesting. In Sweden it is not unusual to use a method with a forest harrow, this harrow goes down to depths over 10 cm and can create severe damage if made upon a grave field or other type of site. This is not allowed on ancient monuments or cultural sites. When I visited the grave field I could not see any traces of bones, coal or other types of artifacts in the soil, so we’ll have to hope the damages aren’t to great. This is a sad sight but all to usual, forestry takes it toll on our ancient monuments and cultural heritage. This an issue for the future as cultural heritage and forestry must live side by side and not on each others expense.

Angelstad 5   Angelstad 4:1   Skador Angelstad 5

Iron age Dolmen Angelstad 5

Here are some photos of the grave field (Angelstad 5:1). From right to left; An overview of the south part of the grave field, an overview of the north part of the grave field, a close up on the damages made by harrows  and of course a picture of a Iron Age dolmen (järnåldersdös).

On the other hand I visited some very beautiful sites as well. Take a look at the runstone Sm 29 in Berga parish, Ljungby municipality with the inscription:”… raised the stone in memory of Þorgeirr, his father. He met his end in England.” (æisþi stæin æftiR Þor[gæi]R, fa[ð]ur sinn. SaR ændaðis a [Æ]nglandi). There several rune stones that mention travels to foreign countries for example there are more than 20 inscriptions that mentions England, and this is one of five in Småland.

Rune stone Sm 29

This wonderful grave field on the island Bolmsö (Bolmsö parish raa 74:1) is called Spökbacken (the hill of ghosts).

Spökbacken Bolmsö 74

And at last I thought that I would show you a few pictures of Raa 38:1 in Dörarp parish. Raa 38 is a fortification/stronghold called Tofta skans and was built by count Per Brahe in 1657 during the war with the Danes. It is built in a star shaped form that made it possible to shoot arrows or cannonballs in several directions. This fortification was never used during the wars.

   Tofta skans Dörarp 38:1   Tofta Skans Dörarp 38

Though I sometimes despair when I see some monuments damaged by forestry, storms or other causes there are many more times that I stand in amazement before a beautiful or impressive monument that survived the ages.

//Magnus Reuterdahl


About Magnus Reuterdahl

I am an archaeologist/Osteologist from Sweden. My main intrest lays in north Euorpean archaeology in, preferbly the prehistory of the late iron age and the neolithic periods. I've also got a strong intrest for Chinese archaeology, especially the neolithc Yangshao culture. I also write about cultural heritage and cultural history. Mitt namn är Magnus Reuterdahl, jag är arkeolog och osteolog och arbetar företrädesvis i Sverige även om jag gjort ett par vändor till Kina. På den här bloggen skriver jag om mitt yrke, om fornlämningar, kulturarv och kulturhistoria m m. View all posts by Magnus Reuterdahl

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