Saturday, April 21, 2012

Swedish Stonehenge? Ancient Stone Structure Spurs Debate


A photo of Ales Stenar in Sweden.
An ancient megalithic structure shaped like a ship in Sweden seems to have a similar geometry to Stonehenge, and may have been used as an astronomical calendar, one scientist says.
CREDIT: Steffen Hoejager | Shutterstock
Ancient Scandinavians dragged 59 boulders to a seaside cliff near what is now the Swedish fishing village of K√•seberga. They carefully arranged the massive stones — each weighing up to 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms) — in the outline of a 220-foot-long (67-meter) ship overlooking the Baltic Sea.

Archaeologists generally agree this megalithic structure, known as Ales Stenar ("Ale's Stones"), was assembled about 1,000 years ago, near the end of  the Iron Age, as a burial monument. But a team of researchers now argues it's really 2,500 years old, dating from the Scandinavian Bronze Age, and was built as an astronomical calendar with the same underlying geometry as England's Stonehenge.


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