Ale's Stones (Ales stenar) is a megalithic monument which consists of a stone ship 67 meters long formed by 59 large boulders of sandstone, weighing up to 1.8 tonnes each. According to Scanian folklore, a legendary king called King Ale lies buried there.

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.

In 1989, during the first archaeological excavations performed in order to scientifically investigate and date the monument, archaeologists found a decorated clay pot with burned human bones inside the ship setting. The bones are thought to come from a pyre and to have been placed in the pot at a later date. The pot's contents varied in age; some material was from 330-540 CE while a piece of charred food crust also found inside was determined to be from 540-650 CE. The archaeologists working on the project also found birch charcoal remains from 540-650 CE underneath an undisturbed boulder. According to the Swedish National Heritage Board, carbon-14 dating of the organic material from the site indicates that six of the samples are from around 600 CE, while one sample is from ca. 3500 BCE. The diverging sample came from soot-covered stones that are believed to be the remnants of an older hearth, found close to the ship setting. On the basis of these results, the Swedish National Heritage Board has set a suggested date of creation for Ales Stenar to 1,400 BP, which is the year 600 CE.

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Address

Killevägen 52, Ystad, Sweden
See all sites in Ystad

Details

Founded: 500-1000 AD
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Sweden
Historical period: Migration Period (Sweden)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Vegan-Iced Ella (8 months ago)
An amazing January afternoon with a beautiful sunset. Ales stenar is absolutely a place to visit when in Skåne.
Bill Boyer (8 months ago)
Beautiful place to visit at any time of year. Be prepared for the 1km walk from the main car park and strong winds on the exposed clifftop site.
stefan norell (9 months ago)
A really interesting and magnificent landmark well worth a visit. The coastline is also an attraction as it rises above the rest of the landscape and ends steeply towards the sea.
Rose Shao (11 months ago)
Good day trip and tends not to be overcrowded. Ales Stenar is surrounded by a nice little fishing town where you can sit down for food as well as a nice cliff facing the sea. Make sure the weather is good for your trip because being so close to the sea, the weather (rain, wind, etc) becomes 2X more extreme than usual.
János Kiss (13 months ago)
Ales Stenar is a really mysterious place. You can walk in the middle of the stones and feel the history or something special. This place is higher than the sea level and it is a fairly large area. You can take a long circle and enjoy the view. The entrance is free! When you walk up from the harbour you can meet lovely sheep!
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