During weekends past I’ve taking the car for a few tours around Öland. Here are few pictures on a few of the great cultural heritage sites just waiting for visits.
Borgholm castle ruin, just south of Borgholm.
At the southern tip of the island is the lighthouse Långe Jan (Tall Jan)
This grave field (raa 24:1) is situated in Segerstad parish its, it’s rich in combinations of different grave forms, mounds of different size and shape, stones that mark graves etc. These grave fields are normallt dated to the Iron Age though some individual graves might be older.
Rune stone Öland 18 (Öl 18). The inscription translated to English reads Ingjaldr and Nefr and Sveinn, they raised (the stone) in memory of Hróðmarr, their father.
Ancient fort Triberga. There is an ongoing discussion how these forts has been used, as a refuge in trouble times or something else. Most of them were build during the Iron Age though has also been used during the middle ages. In some there are remains of houses and in some burials have been found.
Finally a wind mill, a common site on the island. I’ll be back with more in coming posts.
Got unemployed last week but things are all ready brighter as I’ll start working on a new project on Wednesday next week for Sweden’s oldest private archaeology company Arkeologikonsult, in the business since 1988.
I’ll be working on an excavation, in Stockholm, on a gravefield dated to the late Viking Age/early Middle Ages the coming three or four weeks.
It will be great as I’ll work with Johan Klange, whom I’ve been working on the Yangshaoproject, and with osteologist/archaeologist Leif Johnsson, whom I worked with in Kronoberg and with Arkeologicentrum, among others.
It’s been a long day, and I’m rather tired so this just a quick update of the day.
We started off looking at the area around Sagaån (Saga river) where lots of time and effort has been put in over the years concerning a new route for the highway E18. One alternative was to put the route between two great mounds and the assumed place for the medieval king’s road Eriksgatan and the passage where the king left Västmanland and entered Uppland. The other alternative was to place the route in a landscape which shows a well-worked-industrial agricultural landscape. The issue has been resolved and the new route is being built but it was an interesting discussion on how to different values sometimes clashes.
From there we continued north towards Bergslagen and Norberg – on the way we stopped by the grave field at Anunds mound at Badelunda – an amazing site – well worth a visit. Anunds mound is the largest burial mound in Sweden measuring 60 m diameter and 14 meters in height. On the grave field are also several smaller mounds, ship settings and a line of stones, including a rune stone, a monument called a bridge. The grave field is dated to the Iron Age and the rune stone bridge monument to the late Iron Age or the middle Ages.
After this we stopped at the UNESCO world heritage site Engelsberg Ironworks – a part of Bergslagen (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/556) Engelsberg is one of the best preserved ironworks from the 17th and 18th centuries. The complex is more or less complete, with a manor, with smithies, and blast-furnace among other things.
Though I don’t have a photo – the worlds oldest, still standing, oil refinerie is also in Engelsberg , built during the early 1800s.
From here to Norsberg and a visit to Nya (New) Lapphyttan – Nya Lappnyttan is a reconstructed medieval village, Blast furnace and Iron production open-air museum based on an archaeological excavation of Lapphyttan, during the 80’s, of one the oldest blast furnace remains in Sweden and Europe. It’s been dated to the 12th century.
This is all for now
This week the field season started with a survey in Bredaryd parish in Halland. As I’ve been sitting in the office for a few months the body is not quite ready for action – every limb feels sore after a few days of hiking in the country side – still it’s great to be outdoors again.
On the way to the survey I passed the grave field Froboke and took a couple of pictures. This grave field is perhaps most known for a fascinating type of burial monuments called Iron Age dolmens, which originally was called Fröböke dolmens after this site. The grave field is located in Bredary parish, Halland, a few miles from Halmstad.
Photo at the south part of the grave filed towards north
Photo from the middle part of the gravfield towards the south part
I’ve written about Iron Age dolmens before, here and here. In short Iron Age dolmens can be found on grave fields in the south west part of Sweden; in the west part of Smaland, in Halland and in the south west part of Vastra Gotaland. They are generally dated to ca 500 B.C. – 400 A.D. and only a few have been excavated. This type of burial monuments was first described in 1876 while the road next to the grave filed was built.
The north part of the grave field
The grave field at Froboke is quite small and consists of seven visible grave monuments; three Iron Age dolmens and four erected stones. The grave field has probably been larger but have been diminished over time due to agriculture and road works in historic and modern times. Two archaeological excavations have been carried out at the grave field in 1914 and 1933 – among the finds is a glass bead, cremated bones and pieces of quartz. The “complete” Iron Age dolmen just next to the road was restored in the end of the 19th century, it’s possible that some kind of excavation was carried out then as well.
The reconstructed Iron Age dolmen
Not all that chatch my eye is of cultural historic interest, like this spider’s web.
Next week I’ll be in Växjo in Kronobergs County doing more archaeological work.
Our trip in Västergötland continued and our next stop on the way to Lake Horborga was the grave filed Ekornavallen.
Ekornvallen is a grave field with a very long continuity span, from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. The oldest graves are four passage tombs and a stone cist from the Neolithic Age, a great cairn from the Bronze Age, large stone settings, erect stones and stone circles from the Iron Age, besides this element from a fossilized landscape are visible on and around the grave field.
Overview from southeast, in the centre at the top lays the big cairn and to the left a passage tomb.
A filled round stone setting, 20-25 meter wide
The oldest graves are in other word ca 4-5000 years old and the youngest ca 1-2000 years old.
Spring is the absolute best time to do archeothingy-spotting. Just before nature really awakes the ancient monuments seem to pop up from the ground. All features gets so visable due to the fact that no new grass has begun to grow. At this grave field the caretakers helps visitors yet a bit by keeping the area and especially the remains that can be difficult to spot really tidy.
Read more about Ekornavallen at the National Heritage Boards webpage.
This grave field is really worth visiting.
Next stop VG 90 (A rune stone)!