Ale's Stones

Ystad, Sweden

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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Killevägen 52, Ystad, Sweden
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Founded: 500-1000 AD
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Sweden
Historical period: Migration Period (Sweden)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Asekoff (13 months ago)
Sweden's Stonehenge? Who knows? Check out dozens of people paragliding or hand gliding by the cliffs. Watch where you walk as cows graze here. Hang out overlooking the ocean, but not too close to the edge. Be prepared to climb a little bit in between cow pens.
AndyundSarah (13 months ago)
Nice to hike along the cliffs. Damatic view downwards and along the coastline. 1 star less because the info sign is not available in English. Not recommended for diabled (wheelchair), the path is steep. Parking is around 1.2km away and you can use all major parking apps (EasyPark, Mobill,..)
Frank Versteegen (13 months ago)
Amazon place with an ancient calendar built ages ago. The walk up is a bit steep (beware if you have a stroller with you or if you have disabilities), but in the end it is worth the +/- 600 metres walk. At the end of the dune you have a great view of the sea.
Ashish Raj (14 months ago)
Amazing view. Stones are organised so well, looks too good. Place is full of scenic beauty. Enjoyed sunset view with reflections in sea and colourful flowers, it was so peaceful calm place to be in.
Andrzej Andrew Ochudżawa Ochudzawa (18 months ago)
Truly a sight to see. Monuments are very unique and thought provoking. The scenery over the cliffs are amazing. During off season do not expect any food or facilities open near by.
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