Ales stenar – past and present of a historical monument

Ales Stenar is one of Sweden’s most important historical monuments, the largest preserved ”ship setting” – stones set in the layout of a ship. Although its original function is still not determined this megalithic monument fascinates generation after generation. It consists of a stone ship 67 meters long formed by 59 large boulders of sandstone, weighing up to 1.8 tons each. According to Scanian folklore, a legendary king called King Ale lies buried there. True or not – the modern Carbon-14 dating system provides seven results at the site. One dates the material at around 5,500 years old, whereas the remaining six indicate a date around 1,400 years ago, probably the most likely time that Ale stenar was created. Ship settings was used as burial monuments but there is also theories that the stones where used to determine time of the year. One thing is sure: whatever the function the mystical atmosphere and the great view on the sea are still the same as for thousands years ago. You can find Ales Stenar in Scania (Scanie) in southern Sweden.

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