On our recent trip to Kivik, we decided to visit Kiviksgraven. This is a large Bronze Age grave monument, and one of the most remarkable bronze age monuments in Sweden. There is a very large cairn on the top of the ground, marking the grave’s location, that is 75m across. Underneath there is a burial chamber, with a passage leading into it. In the centre of this burial chamber are 8 slabs. It had always been thought that an important person or king was buried in there. In the early 1930’s there was archaeological work done inside the grave, and although they thought they had found the king’s remains, it turned out they were probably several teenagers buried in there throughout a period of 600 years.
The Kiviksgraven is situated where people had lived 6,000 years ago, living off what the forest and sea gave them. Then 3,500 years ago, the place took on some sort of spiritual significance and the Kiviksgraven was built. The stone slabs inside the grave are adorned with bronze age drawings of ships, horses, and people. There are now a lot of other burial mounds and standing stones too in the area. The Kiviksgraven was discovered when back in the 18th century workers started using the stones for construction purposes. Whilst doing this 2 men fell down into the chamber and the grave was discovered.
We paid our 25 sek (£2.50) for each adult to enter (children were free) and headed on in. We thought this was a bargain considering the expense going anywhere with all 5 of us usually entails. Plus you could get right up to the stones, and look at them properly. This is a lot nicer for children who are not much good at looking at stones from a distance! The drawings were in really good condition and the whole tomb was a little surreal to be inside. After visiting inside the tomb, we walked round the whole of the outside. We had some difficulty trying to keep the trio off the cairn as it resembled one giant fun play area in their eyes, but eventually they understood.
These monuments don’t take that long to visit, and after a 2 hour drive to get to it, we needed a little refreshment before we continued on our tour, so we headed inside to the very Swedish and very lovely wooden hut cafe. The children also had a little play in the garden area.
This was such an amazing piece of history to see, and really well preserved. It was lovely to be able to get so close to it as well 🙂