The King's Grave

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The King's Grave near Kivik in the south-eastern portion of the Swedish province of Skåne (55°41′N 14°14′E) is what remains of an unusually sumptuous Nordic Bronze Age burial ca 1000 BC. In spite of the fact that it has been used both as a quarry and carelessly restored, it is a unique burial. In both construction and in size (measuring 75 metres across) it deviates from most European burials from the Bronze Age, and the cist is adorned with petroglyphs. The images depict people, ships, lurs, symbols, and a chariot with two horses.

It is located ca 320 metres from the shore.

[edit] History

It was used as a quarry for constructions until 1748, when two farmers discovered a 3.25 metre long cist, with a north-south orientation, constructed by ten slabs of stone. They dug it out, hoping to find a treasure in the grave. Soon rumour had it that the two men had found a great treasure in the grave and the authorities had the men arrested. However, the two men denied having found anything, and as no evidence could be provided against them, they were released.

Several years passed until it was discovered that the slabs of stone were adorned with petroglyphs, and a long series of speculations had begun. Still, the quarrying continued and some of the stones disappeared.

In 19311933, a thorough excavation was undertaken and the remains of a Stone Age settlement was found under the cairn, including a great deal of flintstone shards. Only teeth, fragments of bronze and some pieces of bone were found from the Bronze Age.

However, the mound did not contain only one cist but two. On the left side of the cist's southern end, there were raised slabs of stone from a 1.2 metres long and 0.65 metres wide cist. It has been named the Prince's Grave due to its size. Since the Prince's Grave has been subject to numerous lootings, there are no reliable finds, but it is believed that the two graves were built at the same time.

After the excavation, the grave was restored, but no one knows whether the grave looks similar to its original state. A comparison with other contemporary graves suggests that the grave was three times higher than today's 3.5 metres. The restoration was based on etchings from the 18th century and conjecture. A chambre was constructed out of concrete and a tunnel was made into the cist.

Today, the grave is restored and it is possible to enter the grave and to see the engraved stones.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

de:Grab von Kivik sv:Kungagraven i Kivik

The King's Grave

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