Huge ancient monument found in Sweden
Archaeologists have discovered a monumental structure with high wooden poles, dated at 400-500 AD in Uppsala, Sweden.
(The red lines on the map at left designate where the rows of posts have stood. The kilometre-long strip with post holes is seen at right. Gamle Uppsala – Old Uppsala – is about 60 km north of Stockholm. (Photo: Swedish National Heritage Board /www.flygfoto.com))
Archaeologists in Sweden have found two long rows of wooden post holes at nearly right angles to each other. One of the rows is a kilometre long and consists of 144 post holes. The other extends at least 500 metres. The holes are spaced every six metres and the rows are 500 metres apart.
“We think the wooden poles were high, perhaps over eight to ten metres. They have been easily spotted from a distance,” says the project leader of the dig, Lena Beronius-Jörpeland, an archaeologist with the Swedish National Heritage Board.
Connection with the royal burial mounds
The site is just a few hundred metres from a well-known landmark, the Royal Mounds [Kungshögarna]. These are from the decades around 600 AD and had significant functions for religion and trade.
The researchers are speculating about links between the monumental linear structures and the burial mounds. The area they are in is one of the most important known from the Swedish Iron Age.
(Archaeologist Fredrik Thölin takes a breather by the foundation of one the 1,500-year-old posts, preserved in the clay soil. (Photo: Uppland Museum))
(The skeleton of a puppy was found in one of the excavated holes. (Photo: Swedish National Heritage Board))