The abi­li­ty of humans throug­hout histo­ry to move lar­ge sto­ne blocks in order to build lar­ge monu­ments never cea­ses to ama­ze us.

At Aske­ber­ga the­re are 24 gigan­tic sto­ne blocks, each weighing between 25 and 30 ton­nes. They are arrang­ed in a rough semi-cir­c­le that is 54 metres long and 18 metres wide.

The site has been a gat­he­ring pla­ce for peop­le in the regi­on sin­ce anci­ent times. No one has yet given a cre­dib­le expla­na­tion for this enor­mous sto­ne monu­ment, which is unli­ke any other in Swe­den. The monu­ment is some­ti­mes refer­red to as a ship set­ting – in which case it would be the second lar­gest in Swe­den after Ales Ste­nar in Skå­ne – and some­ti­mes a jud­ge cir­c­le, but neit­her is correct. The bow and stern sto­nes that are cha­rac­te­ristic of a ship set­tings are missing, whi­le jud­ge cir­cles are always con­si­de­rably smaller.

Aske­ber­ga has not been sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly inve­sti­ga­ted. The lack of archae­o­lo­gi­cal stu­di­es means that we can­not esti­ma­te the age of the monu­ment. The com­mon view that the sto­nes were brought here during the ear­ly Iron Age (around 500‑1000 CE) is just an educa­ted guess. Simi­lar­ly, no one knows whe­re the sto­nes came from. Evi­dent­ly they were hau­led here. One hypot­he­sis is that they were taken from a loca­tion a few hund­red metres south-east of the sto­ne cir­c­le, but they could also have been trans­por­ted over a long­er distan­ce from vari­ous loca­tions in the region.

When was the sto­ne cir­c­le erec­ted? And why? We can assu­me that this was an impor­tant gat­he­ring pla­ce for local peop­le, but we do not know if it was a mar­ket, a court or a pla­ce of ritu­al. This means that Aske­ber­ga is still a ridd­le wai­ting to be solved.

Hit­ta Hit