Ale’s Stones, Skåne, Sweden

Ale’s Stones (or Ales stenar in Swedish) is a megalithic monument in the shape of a stone ship, oval in outline, with the stones at each end markedly larger than the rest. It is about 73 yards long formed by 59 large boulders, weighing up to 1.9 tons each.

The carbon-14 dating system for organic remains has provided seven results at the site. One indicates that the material is around 5,500 years old whereas the remaining six indicate a date about 1,400 years ago. The latter is considered to be the most likely time for Ales Stenar to have been created. That would place its creation towards the end of the Nordic Iron Age.

Ale’s Stones (or Ales stenar in Swedish) is a megalithic monument in Skåne in southern Sweden. It is a stone ship, oval in outline, with the stones at each end markedly larger than the rest. It is 67-metres long formed by 59 large boulders, weighing up to 1.8 tonneseach.

This monumental stone formation is located just outside a fishing village of Kåseberga, approximately eighteen kilometres southeast of Ystad in Skåne, on an astoundingly flat, grassy headland that overlooks the narrow, pebbly beach of the Baltic Sea. The view from the Ales Stenar offers an open 180o sea horizon and simultaneously an open 180o land horizon. 


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Ancient Scandinavians dragged 59 boulders to a seaside cliff near what is now the Swedish fishing village of Kåseberga. They carefully arranged the massive stones – each weighing up to 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms) – in the outline of a 220-foot-long (67-meter) ship overlooking the Baltic Sea.

Archaeologists generally agree this megalithic structure, known as Ales Stenar (“Ale’s Stones”), was assembled about 1,000 years ago, near the end of the Iron Age, as a burial monument. But a team of researchers now argues it’s really 2,500 years old, dating from the Scandinavian Bronze Age, and was built as an astronomical calendar with the same underlying geometry as England’s Stonehenge.

“We can now say Stonehenge has a younger sister, but she’s so much more beautiful,” said Nils-Axel Mörner, a retired geologist from Stockholm University who co-authored the paper on the interpretation, published in March in the International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Read more.


Went to see the stone ship Ale’s stones today. A stone ship is usually a burying ground, we drove past some double-coffin sized regular ones on the way, but for this one, the largest left in Sweden, no definite evidence of burials has apparently been found - instead, the site is a lot like Stonehenge, built to align with the equinoxes and solstices.

The view from up there. The ocean in three directions and the land … actually also in three directions. I got into my head the impression of a chieftain being asked “Where do you want to be buried?” “Oh, somewhere with a nice view.” “Uhm, we have just the place.” (Of course, this was probably bigger than one chieftain. Unless they were a really kickass chieftain. Because of its visibility, it’s also been used as a landmark for sailors for over a thousand years.)

I was there with my family and my nephews ran around with their newly acquired sonic screwdrivers, scanning every stone and marker and the sky above and the sand below. No time warps or rifts have appeared yet. I hope their labour was effective.

New battle erupts over 'Sweden's Stonehenge'

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A new archaeological examination of Ales stenar, a massive stone relic perched atop a cliff in southern Sweden, has sparked a heated crossfire between scientists about the origins of the famed stone ship.

Speculative argument over the astronomical, geometrical, geographical and mythological significance of the 67-metre long stone ship has a long history.

Now, in direct contrast to previous studies, a group currently digging at the site in Kåseberga on Sweden’s southern coast, has reported finding no evidence linking the 59 large sandstone boulders to the Iron Age and Viking era, putting previous theories about the site into question.

“No wonder,” Swedish archaeologist Martin Rundkvist told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

“They aren’t even digging in the right place.”  Read more.