Sweden’s largest Bronze Age tomb. In scenic Österlen, right outside of Kivik, lies is a mighty and mysterious remnant of the Bronze Age.
Kiviksgraven is roughly 3000 years old, but aside from the age of the structure, the size of the tomb is also fascinating. It has a diameter of 75 metres, making it the largest known burial mound in Sweden. However, like many other famous monuments from other cultures, the tomb also conceals an enigmatic interior. The burial chamber contains ten stone slabs carved with imagery that entices the imagination of a modern visitor. From the stones, pictures of humans, animals, ships and weapons emerge. Perhaps they were intended to depict a procession or funeral ceremony.
We do not know who were honoured by this burial. Previous research assumed that the deceased was a middle-aged man, possibly a chieftain. Therefore the mound was commonly known as “Kungagraven” – The King’s Grave. Recent analysis of human remains found in the chamber may indicate that the tomb was in use for an extended period of time and that the people interned were teenagers.
Whether the tomb has been robbed of valuables and treasure, we do not know. But on a summer’s day in 1748, two farmers were quarrying in the old mound. Suddenly they found a stone coffin. Eagerly, they began rooting through the mound in hope of finding treasure!
They searched the tomb all night for treasure. Today, it is still unknown what the two men found, but local rumour had it that something big had been discovered.
In the 1930s, archaeological investigations of the tomb were carried out. The tomb excavated by the archaeologists had been severely demolished and robbed. It turned out that the large mound contained not only one, but two tombs! Close to the large stone coffin, raised slabs forming a small burial chamber were found, which was called Prinskammaren – The Prince’s Chamber due to its small size. While carrying out their investigations, the archaeologists reconstructed the mound and had a passage opened to allow visitors to enter the once hidden burial chamber and behold the cryptic stone slabs.
The area surrounding the impressive tomb is home to many monuments from the Bronze Age. A few hundred metres away lies the Ängakåsen grave field. From the grave field, a pre-historic road led to the sea.
277 30 Kivik
|Tel:||070-632 88 29|
|Elevators:||No, only one floor|
|Opening hours:||The tomb may be viewed all year round.|
The burial chamber is open:
|Admission:||Free admission all year round. 25 SEK for visiting the burial chamber, free admission for children under age 16.|
|Food & Drink:||Yes, a small café next door|
|Distance to public transportation:||The Skånetrafiken bus Skåneexpressen 3 stops at the “Kivik Skogsdala” bus stop, roughly 1.5 km from Kiviksgraven.|