Neolithic Age

History of Sweden between 4000 BC - 1701 BC

Farming and animal husbandry, along with monumental burial, polished flint axes and decorated pottery, arrived from the Continent with the Funnel-beaker Culture in c. 4000 BC. Whether this happened by diffusion of knowledge or by mass migration or both is controversial. In a century or two, all of Denmark and the southern third of Sweden became neolithised and much of the area became dotted with megalithic tombs. The people of the country's northern two thirds retained an essentially Mesolithic lifestyle into the 1st Millennium BC. Coastal south-eastern Sweden, likewise, reverted from neolithisation to a hunting and fishing economy after only a few centuries, with the Pitted Ware Culture.

In c. 2800 BC the Funnel Beaker Culture gave way to the Battle Axe Culture, a regional version of the middle-European Corded Ware phenomenon. Again, diffusion of knowledge or mass migration is disputed. The Battle Axe and Pitted Ware people then coexisted as distinct archaeological entities until c. 2400 BC, when they merged into a fairly homogeneous Late Neolithic culture. This culture produced the finest flintwork in Scandinavian Prehistory and the last megalithic tombs.

References: Wikipedia

Popular sites founded between 4000 BC and 1701 BC in Sweden

Rock Carvings in Tanum

One of the largest rocks of Nordic Bronze Age petroglyphs in Scandinavia is located in Tanumshede locality, Tanum Municipality. In total there are thousands of images called the Tanum petroglyphs, on about 600 panels within the World Heritage Area. These are concentrated in distinct areas along a 25 km stretch, which was the coastline of a fjord during the Bronze Age, and covers an area of about 51 hectares. Tanumshede ro ...
Founded: 1800-500 BC | Location: Tanum, Sweden

Ekornavallen

Ekornavallen is one of the richest prehistoric sites in Sweden. The earliest burials were made in the Neolithic period, 3000 BC. The 20 meters wide and two meters high burial mound is dated to Bronze Age (1800-500 BC). There are also lot of different kind of settings (like standing stones and stone circles) from the Iron Ages built between 0-500 AD. The largest, and best known, of the Neolithic passage graves at Ekorna ...
Founded: 3000 BC - 500 AD | Location: Broddetorp, Sweden

Himmelstalund Rock Carvings

Himmelstalund is a large park famous for having one of Sweden's biggest collection of petroglyphs with more than 1660 pictures. Some of the depicted boats having a similar shape as the Hjortspring boat. Oldest features have been dated to the transition between the Late ­Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age (1920­1740 BC).
Founded: 1900 BC | Location: Norrköping, Sweden

Släbro Rock Carvings

Släbro is without question one of Sweden’s greatest and most remarkable rock carvings site. Situated near the River of Nyköping the carvings were discovered 1984 and can be dated back to the Bronze Age. They are unique because they are carved in a most unusual way. There are etchings on some ten different surfaces with a total of some 700 figures, mainly frame and circle figures. Many are unique in design, in particul ...
Founded: 1800-400 BC | Location: Nyköping, Sweden

Slagsta Rock Carvings

The rock carvings in Slagsta are the largest in Stockholm County. Rock carvings from the Bronze Age consists of 17 ships, three animal figures, a sole, 2-3 indeterminate figures, around 170 cup marks and a human figure. The human figure is characteristically designed legs with strong calves. During the same is a shallow carved ship depicted. The total machined surface is 4.8 x 3.3 meters. Slagsta inscription discovered S ...
Founded: 1800-500 BC | Location: Botkyrka, Sweden

Skegriedösen Dolmen

Skegriedösen is a well-preserved stone chamber tomb surrounded by seventeen stones. The dolmen is set to be around 4500-5000 years old.
Founded: 3000 - 2500 BC | Location: Trelleborg, Sweden

Klastorp Mounds

There are two megalithic tombs in Klastorp, dating from the late Stone Age (2500-2300 BC). The larger one consists of the dolmen and a stone circle.
Founded: 2500-2300 BC | Location: Varberg, Sweden

Tisselskog Rock Carvings

The rock carvings at Högsbyn, Tisselskog are Dalsland’s largest and most extraordinary ancient site and also one of the largest in the country. The carvings are situated in a beautiful natural setting, also a nature reserve. The site includes more than 50 rock areas with more than 2,500 Bronze-Age carvings. 3,000 years ago these symbols were chipped into the soft stone and it is believed that Högsbyn was a sacred loc ...
Founded: 3000 BC | Location: Tisselskog, Sweden

Tolarp Dolmen

Tolarp dolmen (passage grave) dates from the Stone Age (2300-1800 BC). In 1926 Folke Hansen found amber jewels, cheramics and other artefacts from the grave.
Founded: 2300-1800 BC | Location: Halmstad, Sweden

Örelid Standing Stones

Örelid burial ground consists of 36 standing stones and four Bronze Age mounds. There are also ancient carvings in one stone.
Founded: 1800-500 BC | Location: Laholm, Sweden

Luttra Passage Grave

The Neolithic passage grave (a tomb where the burial chamber is reached along a distinct, and usually low, passage) of Luttra is one of the best preserved of its kind in Västergötland. Still time has not been acting too gracious on this site, this ancient tomb is damaged and even partly destroyed. It only has one roofblock left, and the passage is just a metre long - it originally used to be longer. But it is, n ...
Founded: ca. 3400 BC | Location: Falköping, Sweden

Mysinge Burial Ground

There are three so-called passage graves lying only a couple of hundred meters from the hamlet Mysinge. A passage grave is a grave that is built of enormous stone blocks and surrounded by a cairn. The passage graves in Mysinge lie on the land ridge with openings facing southwest. The grave that has been described here has been excavated several times. It has been established that at least 30-40 persons were buried in the ...
Founded: 3500 BC - 900AD | Location: Mörbylånga, Öland, Sweden

Järrestad Rock Carvings

There are over 1200 rock carvings near the road from Järrestad to Gladsax. Carvings date from the late Stone Age and Bronze Age and depicts animals, ships, footprints and humans. There are also three mounds from the late Bronze Age.
Founded: 2000 - 1700 BC | Location: Simrishamn, Sweden

Torsbo Rock Carvings

There are over 100 rock carvings depicting rich and wide variation of themes in Torsbo, including the longest boat carving in Sweden (4,5m). There are also figures of a tree, and several warriors carrying swords. Many of the warriors are depicted as having enlarged calves, a feature that is typical for this area. It cannot be rulled out that several of the carvings were made by the same person. The carvings as a whole hav ...
Founded: 1800-1500 BC | Location: Tanum, Sweden

Haga Dolmen

The Haga dolmen (Hagadösen) is a megalithic dolmen, dating from the Neolithic era. It is located on the island of Orust in Bohuslän, about one kilometre to the east of Tegneby Church. Not far from the dolmen is a second, smaller one, and about 250 metres west of it a large passage grave can be found. The grave consists of four raised stone slabs, with a fifth slab placed as a roof, with an additional thres ...
Founded: 3400 BC | Location: Orust, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.