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Kivik – The King’s Grave

One of the last days of Rickard’s vacation we drove south to Kivik on the south east coast of Scania*.

My father has family not far from there and when I was little we often drove there to visit them. These days we mostly drive down there because it’s a beautiful place to be.

In Kivik you can find all the usual trappings of a touristy place (in fact we managed to drive down there at the last day of the big Kivik Market) but a little bit outside the village there is an Bronze Age grave site called The King’s Grave.

Kungagraven

It is a circular mound of rocks some 75 meters across and 3.5 meters high. It was believed to have been almost three times as high when it was finished, but over the centuries people have plundered the stones to use in constructions elsewhere.

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The grave was discovered underneath the mound in the 18th century and quarrying stopped.
But it wasn’t until the 1930’s that a proper excavation was done.

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Inside the tomb are 9 slabs with petroglyphs on them. The chamber was constructed after the excavation and it is possible to enter and look at the slabs for a modest fee.

When the grave was first discovered it was believed to be a King’s grave because of the size of the slabs. It was later discovered that the grave site contained two graves and markers indicated that it had been used as a sacrificial site as well as a grave, and the bodies found were all in their teens rather than the middle aged King you’d think was buried there.

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Near the grave site there is an old mill that has been transformed into a café and we stopped there to have some ice cream and home made apple cake.

*Scania (Skåne) is the province where I live. It is the southern most tip of the Scandinavian peninsula and we used to belong to Denmark in the Middle Ages. In 1658, Scania was handed over to Sweden at the Peace treaty at Roskilde.
Our dialect still has many sounds and words in common with Danish.

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