It’s been called “Sweden’s Stonehenge”, Ales stenar - a giant stone relic perched atop a cliff in Skåne in southern Sweden.

It’s been speculated that the 67-meter long (220 feet) stone ship has astronomical, geometrical, geographical, and mythological significance and that it is tied to the Iron Age and the Viking era. But a new group digging at the site finds no such evidence. Amateur researcher Bob Lind and his team instead believe that Ales stenar is a relic from the Bronze Age.


But is it? The carbon-14 dating system has provided seven results at the site, one indicating that the material used is around 5,500 years old, whereas the remaining six indicate a date about 1,400 years old. The latter is considered to be the most likely time for Ales stenar to have been created, which would place its creation towards the end of the Nordic Iron Age. And who was Ale? According to Scandinavian legend, Ale the Strong was a King and fought several battles. He ruled in Uppsala for 25 years and might be buried at Ales stenar.

And the meaning of the stones? According to the Lind team, they form a calendar. “The pits the stones are set in are perfectly aligned with the sun’s setting and rise. It’s statistically impossible that they ended up like that by accident,” explains geologist Nils-Axel Mörner, who works with Bob Lind.